Homelessness is a big problem in the Roanoke Valley, specifically for people transitioning from military to civilian life.
Total Action for Progress has been working hard to end veteran homelessness, but TAP can't do that without funding. TAP’s programs are crucial to helping veterans like Matthew Mosby get back on their feet.
"I was going through some situations in my life, didn't know which way I was turning, didn't know where I was going,” said Mosby.
Mosby said his life has done a 180 since he walked through TAP’s doors.
"They give me that push that I needed,” he said. “I always felt like I was worthless, didn't amount to nothing. They didn't look at me like I was an ex-drug addict and said no we can't help you. They said yes we can help you."
And now TAP can help many others.
The US Department of Veteran Affairs announced this week it will give $11.3 million dollars to helping veterans in Virginia. The Roanoke Valley will see a little more than $350,000 from that grant.
"It's a serious issue,” said case manager Evelyn Jordan. “One of my first veterans was actually in that freezing temperatures in January. He was living in a trash can on our streets."
Jordan said they find a lot of clients on the streets. Many of them come from the VA clinic in Salem as well. Regardless of where they come from, TAP tries to help as many as they can.
"For us to serve a hundred veterans in seven months that's a lot,” said Jordan. "Help with electric bills, help with mental health, help with substance abuse."
Jordan expects that number to grow in the coming year. If it does, they'll need to focus on securing money for next year sooner than later. After all, Mosby is living proof that a helping hand can go a long way.
"It's up to you whether you want to make it or not,” said Mosby. “The veterans that do have the problems don't make enough effort to try and find help. They think help will come to them but you have to go out and look for it."
In addition to Mosby living on his own in Roanoke, he is also employed and in school.
TAP is part of a nation-wide effort to end veteran homelessness by 2015.