“They’re just looking for a hand-up, not a hand-out.” Local car dealership gives back to homeless veterans

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- A local car dealership is trying to help homeless veterans in Acadiana this holiday season. A businessman who’s also a veteran shares his message.

A phrase you hate to hear and is hard to say. Homeless Veterans. The latest US Department of Housing and Urban Development report shows that more than half a million Americans are on the streets or in shelters on any given night.

Nick Allemond served six years active duty in the navy. “It really makes you focus and concentrate on where you’ve been.. Where you are in your life, and where you could be at the drop of a hat,” he said.

He has managed the Pre-owned Courtsey Dealerships for the past fourteen years. He is now using the business as a platform to gather donations. “They’re just looking for a hand-up, not a hand-out. Some people just need help,” Allemond said.

The reason of how Veterans become homeless varies from person to person. Saint Michael’s Center in Lafayette reports major improvements within the past decade.

“We’re estimating that there might be between 50 and 20.. 15 and 20 homeless veterans now versus the probably hundred-two-hundred that there were ten years ago,” said Sarah Clement from Catholic Services of Acadiana.

Allemond says that isn’t enough. He added that homelessness can happen to anyone.”People who have multi-million dollar businesses go bankrupt. And they’re like oh my life is over. No. you have a family. You have a place where you can go sleep. These veterans don’t.”

This effort is an on-going battle. In the meantime, the Courtesy is collecting items to keep veterans warm and healthy during cold winter nights.

“Some of these people have nothing. They have one pair of shoes, a pair of pants, and that’s about it.”

Anyone that would like to participate in this initiative can drop-off items at their nearby courtesy dealership.

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