Ending Chronic Veterans Homelessness In Little Rock By 2015

- LITTLE ROCK, AR- Little Rock is joining the fight to end chronic veterans homelessness by next year. The capital city is joining 16 others nationwide to take part in this ambitious effort. Veterans Affairs Leaders say they're attacking the problem from the ground up and so far the results are promising.

One homeless veteran, Gerhard Langguth spent 7 years in the U.S. Navy. Now disabled, he's adjusting to the harsh reality of living on the streets of Little Rock

"All those veterans that were coming back with mental and physical problems ended up being 30 to 50 percent of our homeless population, we couldn't take care of. That was at the end of the Vietnam War," says Gerhard Langguth, Homeless Veteran.

Langguth knows he's not alone, saying veterans need help when they return from war.

"The system is overloaded, we're spending way too much money and effort making war and then there's nothing left over to take care of the problems that the war caused," says Langguth.

While Langguth works to get help through Veterans Affairs, he believes more needs to be done to end chronic homelessness, "Less bureaucrats, less paper work, more services."

Dr. Estella Morris with the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System says they're attacking the problem at all angles, and making strides through prevention.

"Looking at those who are at risk of homelessness as well. Because of that the numbers have increased, but the numbers of those who are chronically homeless has decreased," says Dr. Estella Morris, Comprehensive Homeless Center.

It's decreased through outreach at jails, shelters and the state's rural areas.

"The assistance with employment, the assistance with getting into housing, providing outreach and education to ensure they have knowledge of the services that are available," says Dr. Morris.

Also, a community partnership with Little Rock is a big step toward helping those who sacrificed so much for their country.

The Veterans Day Treatment Center in Little Rock saw 2,200 homeless veterans come through their doors last year.

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