Mid-South movement gives homeless veteran new home - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Mid-South movement gives homeless veteran new home

The process for placing Ray in his new home started a year ago. The process for placing Ray in his new home started a year ago.
Not too long ago, Ray woke up under a bridge in South Memphis. Not too long ago, Ray woke up under a bridge in South Memphis.
A group of four volunteers used a small budget of less than $1,000 to help furnish the new place. A group of four volunteers used a small budget of less than $1,000 to help furnish the new place.

(WMC-TV) - A movement to end homelessness in Memphis gave a war veteran living on the streets a second chance to life.

Not too long ago, Ray woke up under a bridge in South Memphis with the clothes on his back, a tattered backpack, and a dog. Now he wakes up in a clean and furnished apartment thanks to a nationwide initiative happening in the Mid-South.

The process for placing Ray in his new home started a year ago, when the Community Alliance for the Homeless surveyed the homeless population as a part of the 100,000 homes program.

"We're part of 150 some cities across the nation that have decided to prioritize the most vulnerable for housing needs in the city," said Community Alliance for the Homeless Executive Director, Katie Kitchens.

The program finds people like Ray and places them in a newly furnished apartment.

Ray is a veteran with health issues who fell on hard times.

"Recently had a seizure, and fell in front of a car and was hit by a car. So his living outside was really jeopardizing his life. So this is really a great step forward for him to get in housing," said Kitchens.

A group of four volunteers used a small budget of less than $1,000 to help furnish the place in only a few hours Tuesday. Just before 5 p.m., Ray came home for the first time in years.

Overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers, Ray said this blessing is a step in the right direction.

"I don't think about the homeless dying. I think about them just living on the streets and looking for food. Getting them in a home and all of that has been eye opening because they deserve a home just like anybody else," said volunteer Alicia Wooten.

The Community Alliance for the Homeless placed more than 50 people into homes across the city since joining the program, giving five people homes this week. Their ultimate goal is 100.

They said all of this is a part of the mayors' plan to end homelessness, and it is working. Organizers said street homelessness in Memphis is down 17 percent, and overall homelessness in Memphis is down 13 percent.

If you would like to help with the cause click here.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.
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