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Montgomery Co. finds housing for every homeless veteran | News

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Montgomery Co. finds housing for every homeless veteran

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Montgomery County is among the first locales in the nation to meet the White House's challenge to find housing for every homeless veteran by the end of the year.  

The county identified a total of 58 homeless veteran men, woman and families in need of housing. Then, government and non-profit agencies banded together and found housing for every single one of them.  

Ismail Meredith served in the Army in Kuwait and Iraq. But nothing could have prepared him for the emotional and financial battles he’d fight at home.

"Your relationships start to fall apart," Meredith said. "[I was working] 40 to 50 hours a week. I pick up a second job serving the graveyard shift at IHOP."

But it wasn't enough. Meredith soon found himself homeless and was sleeping on park benches and in playgrounds. 

"I’m getting off at one job, I’m changing in the bathroom for the next job," Meredith said.  

They’re either living in the woods, they’re either coming to an emergency shelter, they might be going to a veterans service organization," Susie Sinclair-Smith of the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless.

The Montgomery County Council earmarked $500,000 dollars to transition these veterans from homelessness to hope.

"Unfortunately, we have not achieved the goal nationwide, but we’re gratified to have made it here in Montgomery County," George Leventhal, Montgomery County Council President said. 

This Christmas, Meredith and his family are living in Gaithersburg in a home of their own. Meredith also says he will keep working and plans to go back to school to study math and physics, hopefully at the University of Maryland. 

"I’m so grateful to be here. I’m so happy. Just ready to give back," Meredith said.  

Monday's announcement doesn’t mean veteran homelessness has been forever eliminated in the Montgomery County, but now that there’s a network of resources in place any future homeless veterans will be housed quickly. 

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