JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – Several days after losing millions of dollars to help homeless veterans, a non profit in the Tri-Cities is breaking its silence. ARCH or the Appalachian Regional Coalition on Homelessness is speaking talking with News Channel 11 since the organization was not given a $2 million grant to combat veteran homelessness.
Leaders with the non-profit aren’t the only people upset, veterans in the community are disheartened about the news as well.
U.S. Army veteran David Anderson says he doesn’t know where he would be today if he hadn’t turned to ARCH.
“They help me with my deposit, car repairs, utilities, and they gave me a sense of community, they gave me a sense of belonging here in Johnson City,” Anderson said.
A sense of belonging Anderson says he lost after getting out the army and getting into trouble.
“Besides serving my country, I had to serve my state,” Anderson said.
After being in jail for more than a decade Anderson came to Johnson City, for a fresh start.
So he turned to ARCH and now he’s worried that other veterans who may need help, may not have the opportunity. Last week ARCH has lost a $2 million grant.
“We will no longer be able to serve these veterans that are in homelessness and we will have to refer them on to the new grantee,” Director of Outreach Doug Murray said.
The new grantee is Volunteers of America based in Kentucky but there is an office in Johnson City. It is still not clear why arch wasn’t awarded the grant this year but Murray says they will still work to help the homeless community.
“We have six other grants that will be serving the homeless community in general,” Doug Murray said.
Still, David Anderson is concerned for his fellow veterans. He is hoping that others in the community can band together with arch and help people in need.
“If there is anything i can do for them, all they have to do is let me know,” Anderson said.
ARCH says it’s speaking with other service agencies in the region to ensure that veterans get the help they need. The grant’s funding for arch will end on September 30th.
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