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Niagara Gospel Mission starting veteran program

Niagara Gazette - 8/11/2022

Aug. 11—Niagara Gospel Mission, 1317 Portage Road, has added a veteran specific program to include a veteran-only, eight-bed emergency dorm, a support group with local veterans, and assistance in connecting with Veteran Affairs.

"As a combat veteran myself, I know the issues that come with readjusting after war. Unfortunately, these men have struggled with that, and we want to do our part in helping them. They served us; it's time we serve them," John Cooper, Jr., the Mission's development director and coordinator for the new program, said.

Military veterans make up 7% of the Unites States population and 11% of the homeless population. HUD estimates that 39,500 veterans are homeless on any given night in the United States. Currently 15 percent of Niagara Gospel Mission's (NGM) clients are veterans. The need is growing as more service members get out of the military.

"Service members face dangers and unbearable living conditions overseas for our freedoms," Cooper said. "It's a shame they face the same thing here. We are going to help fix that!"

To help homeless veterans in Western New York, NGM's new program will include an 8-bed veteran-only emergency shelter. The program also includes a veteran support group where veterans from Niagara Falls and the county can get together to encourage and help each other cope and adjust to society after war. NGM will work closely with the Veterans Affairs Clinic in Niagara Falls to connect veterans with all the VA has to offer.

"With their struggles from war and in the current economy, Niagara Gospel Mission wants to help those who served our country and kept us free," Cooper said. "We welcome cash and in-kind donations as we launch the new initiative this September."


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