ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – New research from Wallet-Hub shows that St. Louis region is not doing enough to help veterans adjust to life after the military.
St. Louis only ranked 59th in a listing of top cities for veterans, and it ranked near the bottom on a list of cities where veterans are living below the poverty line.
Unemployment, mental health issues and substance abuse issues are among the top struggles veterans face, according to Jonathan Belcher of Project Hero. In order to help the region’s veterans, he said providing more jobs for the veterans would be a positive first step. With many veterans living below the poverty line in St. Louis, Belcher said providing jobs with livable wages is key.
Belcher hopes a new facility known as Freedom Place will make a huge difference. The facility provides temporary housing and on-site case management.
"It allows us to put a focus on what's going on in their lives, and being here we see them everyday and we're working on their issues," Belcher said.
A veteran told News 4 Freedom Place helped him find an apartment and turn his life around.
"I can see people out there and makes me feel very fortunate," said Sherman Harris.
St. Patrick's Center, which helps run Freedom Place, said the center helps 700 homeless veterans every year.