The Berks County Veterans Affairs Office hosted its first Homeless Veterans Night Out event Friday evening at the intersection of 7th Street and Cherry Street in downtown Reading.
Berks County VA staff, along with Homeless Veterans, partner agencies, and providers staged an overnight “sleep/campout,” with the support of the South-Central Transit Authority, to bring awareness to the issue of homelessness among veterans.
The event raised funds from the community and private sponsors, with proceeds supporting the Berks County Veterans Temporary Assistance Grant program.
The Berks County Veterans Affairs Office created the event to bring awareness to homeless veterans in Berks County. Homeless veterans are a vulnerable and often overlooked population that have made significant sacrifices for our country and need our support.
Veteran homelessness can be caused by a variety of factors such as mental health issues, substance abuse, lack of affordable housing, and unemployment. Berks County has a large veteran population. Ensuring that these individuals who are experiencing homelessness have access to the support they need is a critical way to honor their service and sacrifice.
It is estimated that on any given night 28 veterans are homeless in Berks County.
Organizers hope the experience helps the public better understand the challenges faced by homeless veterans and the importance of providing them with the support and resources they need to get back on their feet.
In addition, they hope to help reduce the stigma associated with homelessness and encourage individuals and organizations to get involved in efforts to address the issue.