A former homeless man is doing all he can to make sure no more veterans are living on the streets.
Ken Leslie, once homeless himself, founded Veterans Matter six years ago in Toledo, Ohio originally to help 35 local veterans get housing. But it quickly grew into a national, grassroots organization helping thousands of veterans across the nation.
“Thanks to so many Americans who care, it thrills us to know that over 2,100 formerly homeless veterans in 18 states will be able to honor their fallen comrades this Memorial Day in a place called home,” Leslie told Fox News.
Their current push, #Mission1000More, is to get 1,000 veterans housed before the end of the year.
“With over 40,000 veterans still on the streets, our mission is simple: to house as many veterans as we can as quickly as we can,” Leslie said.
To streamline the process, Veterans Matter partners with the Veteran’s Affairs Homeless Veterans program to identify vets who need shelter and bypasses the customary security deposit within minutes instead of the typical wait time of 30 to 60 days.
“Because of our partnership with the VA, every dollar we deploy results in a veteran housed in long-term HUD-VA housing, which has a 91% success rate keeping them housed,” Leslie added.
The movement to help America’s veterans get homes has garnered celebrity support from singers like Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Dusty Hill of ZZ Top, Darius Rucker, Jennifer Nettles, Kid Rock, and more.
One veteran the organization helped who found a home after three years of being homeless was brought to tears minutes after he received the key to his new home.
“You know…I realized I have my own apartment and a key in my pocket. I know where I will sleep tonight. It seems like the stress of years of homelessness has been lifted off my shoulders,” the veteran said. “Thank you for helping me.”