Shelter for Homeless Veterans Seeking Donations - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Shelter for Homeless Veterans Seeking Donations

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 QUANTICO, Md.- A shelter for homeless male veterans needs some help in Wicomico County.

Veteran Support Centers of America (VSCOA), a non-profit that serves disabled and homeless veterans, is seeking donations to help keep Camp Royal Oak going. The provides transportation services to make sure vets get the help they need; that is where the shelter could use more support. Fuels cards for transportation services, food and monetary donations are being sought.

"We are contracted to the VA as a service provider, but the government can't do it all," said Jerry Black, the executive director of VSCOA. ”Anything from paper products to soap to personal hygiene products" is needed.

 Camp Royal Oak can house up to 20 single male vets, who have been honorably discharged. On average, 10 to 15 men live at the home for up to 60 days. Extensions are granted. Black hopes to raise awareness about the organization's service in hopes of getting more veterans off the street.

The emergency shelter was established five years ago. According to Black, more than 250 vets have been successful in landing a job and living on their own.

Army Veteran Jason Grey is a former resident at the shelter, who has been quite successful. Grey was in the military for 10 years. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and suffers from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Grey lived at Camp Royal Oak for almost two months in 2013. With his service dog , Sophie, by his side, Grey opened up about how difficult the transition into civilian life was.

It was very hard,” Grey said. “It was very hard to go from the structure of the military to no structure at all."

Grey had a tough time landing a job before he found one in Ocean City.

“For a guy who's just trained to battle on the front lines, these jobs skills are kind of limited,” Grey said.  “They're great for law enforcement and contract work and stuff like that, but they're not so great for office work.”

Currently, Grey runs the VSCOA Paws program, at Camp Royal Oak, which teaches veterans how to train service dogs.

Grey said the program serves three purposes: it gives the dogs another chance at life, since most of them are rescued from shelters, it helps veterans cope with PTSD and it equips veterans with a skills that could lead to a job. Grey is passionate about helping other people.

Currently, seven men live at the temporary housing facility, according to Black,  but that number varies every couple of weeks.

Anyone interested in making a donation or knows a homeless veteran in need, should call 410.873.2500.


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