MACV working to find shelter during storm for hundreds of unhoused veterans
MINNEAPOLIS — While many are inside watching snow pile up, there is concern for the unsheltered. Many of those living on the street are Veterans, and work is underway to get them out of the storm.
Word spread quickly of an approaching winter storm. Even the unsheltered knew a large accumulation of snow is expected, forcing many to ask for help for the first time.
MACV’s James McCloden is answering those calls.
“Days leading right up to the storm we were pretty busy, putting people specifically in the hotels,” McCloden said.
Since Tuesday, he has been answering calls from Veterans who are unhoused that are looking for somewhere to sit out the storm.
“We had a meeting at work and one of the things they said, ‘If you feel overwhelmed, you should be, because there is just more work to do, period,'” he said. “The homeless Veteran registry that came out yesterday was 343 Veterans.”
It’s been a busy time for the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) and its community partners. They’ve seen a huge increase in Veterans needing help. U.S. Army Veteran John Brantley got that help just in time.
“MACV has been a Godsend,” Brantley said.
He is concerned for his fellow Veterans who have refused help.
“We got a couple of them, they just don’t want to come inside. I was talking to one yesterday, he was like, ‘Hey JB, I got my tent, I got my heater, I got my hot plate, I’m cool.’ I’m like, ‘How can you be cool, and it’s going to be like a thousand feet of snow and sub-zero weather,'” he said.
With many of the tent encampments shut down, the search is on for our neighbors who need a hand staying out of the elements. This now-housed veteran hopes everyone takes time to look out for our unsheltered neighbors.
“I would encourage anyone who knows a Veteran or anybody who is homeless, especially on a day like today, to talk to them and try and convince them to get some help,” Brantley said.