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Monday, November 12, 2012 - 10:56am

N. Ga. Homeless Vets Getting Help

Two nonprofits are getting $1 million to help homeless veterans in north Georgia find a place to live and get back on their feet.

The initiative is part of a national effort to help the estimated 23 percent of homeless people who have served in the military. Action Ministries and HOPE Atlanta have partnered to help low-income veterans in 16 counties stretching from Athens to Rome and metro Atlanta to Dalton.

The million dollars from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will provide help to at least 400 former service members and their families, the nonprofits said Monday.

“A million dollars is not a lot of money when it comes to providing homes for our veterans, but it does get us kicked off in the right direction and it will help us to engage partners across the entire state who are interested in serving our veterans,” said John Moeller, president and CEO of Action Ministries.

Army reservist Mark Mills said his recent transition to civilian life from four years of active duty took him five months – in part because of the economy.

“I mean, two of them it took to find job, but the first three, it was strictly to come out of the uniform, so to speak,” Mills said. “There’s such a difference between being in the service and being a civilian. You can talk to civilians like you do soldiers. You just can’t.”

The program will offer veterans help to avoid becoming homeless or find permanent housing if they already are. It will also connect them with other services, like employment help.