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500 Veterans Homeless in Oklahoma

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According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 130,000 men and women in the country are homeless veterans, including about 500 in Oklahoma. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 130,000 men and women in the country are homeless veterans, including about 500 in Oklahoma.
Veterans Affairs is allocating $3.2 billion to help veterans before they become homeless and are vowing to end veteran homelessness in the next five years. Veterans Affairs is allocating $3.2 billion to help veterans before they become homeless and are vowing to end veteran homelessness in the next five years.

By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- For a growing number of homeless veterans, Veterans Day is just another day to struggle for survival.

Throughout the Oklahoma City area, people paused to say thank you to men and women in uniform on Wedneday. But, at the City Rescue Mission, there was little fanfare for Richard Hasenfratz. He served 12 years in the Army before a back injury forced him to retire.

"I wasn't making enough from my VA disability, so I came down here to see if I could find work and so far I haven't," Hasenfratz said.

Hasenfratz said his disability check is just over $200 a month, and he has to pay for his medications, so he doesn't have a lot to live on. He is just one of the nation's thousands of homeless veterans.

"I don't know where I'm going to go from here," Hasenfratz said.

For now, he's eating and getting shelter at the City Rescue Mission.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 130,000 men and women in the country are homeless veterans, and a lot of their problems are related to their service, especially those who served in war zones.

"They have a tendency to lean into alcohol and drugs and stuff which in turn causes them to lose jobs, lose their families, ultimately lose their homes and wind up homeless," said Tom Jones, City Rescue Mission CEO.

Military leaders said they now recognize the problem and are vowing to end veteran homelessness over the next five years.

Veterans Affairs is allocating $3.2 billion to help veterans before they become homeless.

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, there are about 500 homeless veterans in Oklahoma.

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