Myrtle Beach community come together to help homeless veterans

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW)- Groups from across the country were in Myrtle Beach Friday for the second annual Veterans Stand Down event.

Stand Downs are designed to help homeless veterans with food, healthcare, clothing, counseling and other assistance with Veterans Affairs. For many of the veterans who attended the event, it’s been difficult adjusting to civilian life.

“Depression, a lot of anxiety attacks. Seem like a lot time you don’t want to go on because you just about ready to give up but you just keep fighting,” local veteran Bobby Johansen said.

“I’ve been in and out of homes, homeless. I’ve had drug problems related to service, PTSD,” veteran Scott Shepherd said.

Those are the things that motivated more than 100 volunteers to help this year with the care packages, VA claim assistance, plus medical and housing assistance for the homeless veterans.

Horry Georgetown Technical college joined this year’s effort to provide health and dental screenings. Coast RTA provided shuttles from the U.S. Armory in The Market Common to the college.

“I got some clothes, I don’t have clothes. I got lots of stuff. I got food you know a lot of times I don’t eat because I just don’t have food,” Johansen adds.

This year, there was a new element to the event. The veterans housing project had a model shipping container on display for anyone who wanted to walk through it. It’s part of the Veterans Village Project which aims to create affordable housing and a new community for homeless veterans using shipping containers.

Brad Jordan with the Veterans Development Housing Organization says they just found property to put the village on but couldn’t say where it will be just yet.

The goal of the event is to find a way to help veterans all-year.

“I’d love to see homeless veterans, the problem come to an end and maybe someday it will get there but at least now we’re working towards that direction. We’re raising awareness. We’re educating the public. We’re helping those veterans that live on the street at least have warm enough things to stay there all winter long and food,” organizer Doris Gleason said.

Veterans were able to get services today from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Army Reserve building in The Market Common.

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