Helping homeless veterans through Operation Vanguard

Operation Vanguard is happening now in Terre Haute. The project puts volunteers out in the elements for several nights so they understand what homeless veterans are facing here at home.

Posted: Nov 10, 2019 10:44 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Nearly 20 people have participated in the "homeless challenge." They've spent the last 96 hours in boxes and tents. It's all part of Operation Vanguard.

Some we talked to say the only way to know what someone else is going through is to put yourself through it.

Kimberly Cramer said homelessness is a huge problem in Vigo County. She said it hits veterans the hardest. 

"It's heartbreaking because they've given so much for our country they've put their lives on the line some made it home some didn't," said Cramer. 

She's a volunteer for Operation Vanguard.

Many have spent their days and nights outside since Thursday.

They're raising awareness and collecting supplies for veterans who are homeless.
people can donate food and clothes to the cause.

"There's so many of them that need that help that are living homeless and can't get it," said Cramer. 

Cramer says the best way to bring awareness to the issue is to put yourself in other's shoes.

"It is very eye-opening when you got to go to bed at night and you lift up a flap and crawl into a box to sleep," said Cramer. 

Noble Shaw is the program manager for Reach Services' Veteran's Program.

He told us many vets face this reality.

"If it's just one and it makes a significant event in their life then it's a worthwhile cause, but I'd like to reach a lot more than that," said Shaw. 

Shaw said it's going to take more than just a week to help the many homeless vets in the community.

Meanwhile, Cramer says this is something everyone should stand up for.

"We're fortunate enough to have tents to do this event right now others aren't. It's been pretty cold but it's for a good cause," said Cramer.

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