A number of groups with strong ties to the University of North Dakota and common missions to help veterans recently wrapped up collection efforts for clothing, food and essential items to help former military members and their families who are now homeless.
The UND School of Law Career Services and the American Bar Association Commission on Homelessness and Poverty held a clothing drive for homeless veterans this past week to assist the Devils Lake Salvation Army to provide services for homeless veterans in North Dakota. UND and Grand Forks community members have been dropping off nonperishable food item, new or used clothing, bedding and toiletries at the UND School of Law since Nov. 4.
"The clothing drive had a slow start but has turned out to be very successful," said Christie Steier, law student division liaison to the American Bar Association Commission on Homelessness and Poverty. "What is even more important is that we were able to bring some awareness to the problem of homelessness among our veterans."
Studies show, on any given night, there are more than 62,000 homeless veterans in America. Another 1.5 million veterans are at risk of homelessness every day and suffer from poverty, lack of services and substandard housing.
"Our veterans deserve better," Steier said.
Steier's efforts were actually a continuation of another a veterans clothing drive started late last month by James Becks, a veterans educational training coordinator at UND.
Coordinators of the efforts believe it's something can be repeated next year, but that there is also much more that can be done.
"We want to say 'thank you' to UND and the Grand Forks community for their gracious outpouring of support during the clothing drive," Becks said.