New coalition set up to help veterans - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


New coalition set up to help veterans

WACO - A veterans organization has had a flood of calls so to help out a new coalition is setting up to get veterans the help they need. 

It's called the Veterans One-Stop Community Coalition and it's a group of veterans organizations around the area that are working together to get veterans the care they need. The coalition had it's first meeting Thursday afternoon at the MHMR Center in Waco. 

Several organizations had representatives there, including Baylor Scott & White, Baylor University, GI Forum, HOTCOG, Bill Flores' office and some groups from Killeen. Organizers explained to the group why they are forming and what they plan to do. They hope to work together to find all the resources available for veterans and give veterans a place to find who can help them. The coalition hopes to make a directory of groups and how to reach them in the coming months.

The Veterans One-Stop in Waco says they're forming this partly because they've received so many calls from veterans lately and sometimes they can't keep up. That's because they meet with people one-on-one sometimes for more than an hour and calls keep coming up. McLennan County Veterans Service Officer Steve Hernandez says sometimes they have 30 calls at the end of the day they have to call back. 

"Because we are sensitive to the fact we're missing phone calls and we do not want people to feel like we're not attentive or we're not interested and so that's where this coalition also would help and the directory from that coalition and help in knowing that there are people out there that are willing to support the veteran community," Hernandez said. 

Sam Fuller is a veteran and volunteer for the Independence Center. He says this coalition was "very needed."

"The case load we have right now is phenomenal. We get them everyday," Fuller said. "We're trying to catch up to them. With the more people we get coming in, the better off it's going to be."

"I've been in their shoes, living out in the streets, down in the river. They don't need that, they truly don't." 

Hernandez says this is just the first meeting and their second will be on October 16. He says from then on they'll meet quarterly.
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