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Pledge to End Veteran's Homelessness in Ionia County

Pledge to End Veteran's Homelessness in Ionia County

September 29, 2016

End Veteran Homelessness in Ionia County


By Nicholas Grenke


Local leaders made a pledge to end veteran homelessness Thursday afternoon at The Right Door.

Representatives from the Ionia Montcalm Continuum of Care and Michigan State Housing Development EightCap addressed residents and veterans at the event. Homelessness Assistant Specialist Stephanie Oles said soldiers returning from war face unique challenges.


“(Support has) always been a need for past veterans who have served during war,” Oles said. “I've seen people return with (post traumatic stress disorder), and some veterans are missing limbs.”


She said that the goal to end veteran homelessness in an important initiative for Ionia and Montcalm counties. She added no one who has served their country should be without a roof over their head.


“You may call this a rural community, but this is also strong community,” Oles said.


Ionia Montcalm Continuum of Care chairwoman Rona Shane opened and closed the seminar. She said the COC helps veterans who may have trouble getting the services intended for them, especially in cases involving emotional or psychological trauma.


“Our community is who needs to step up and serve our veterans,” Shane said.

Have Mercy Director Kim Cain agreed with Shane and told a story of how her organization recently helped a veteran who could not read or write get the help they needed.


Shane said later that veteran homelessness sometimes is an invisible issue in Ionia County, because there are not urban areas where homeless people congregate.

After the presentation veterans and members of the community, such as Ionia County Sheriff Dale Miller and the The Right Door Executive Director Bob Lathers, signed a pledge to eliminate veteran homelessness in Ionia County.

Veteran's services are available at The Right Door, 375 Apple Tree Dr., in Ionia.

For more information about ending veteran homelessness, and to make the pledge to stop the problem, visit


Follow Nicholas Grenke on Twitter @NickSJ86.