BOB AND Q-TARA WALKING TO HER CUBBY: This is my living room. You know, cubicle. This is where my clothes are. And these are the love of my life. These are my children. These are my inspiration. So, that keeps me going in the morning. BOB WOODRUFF: what do you kids think about you being homeless? Q-TARA I don't tell my children that I'm homeless because I don't really think they would understand that. When I have them, I take 'em to beautiful hotels. I let them go to swimming pools and everything else. Because I don't want them to know. The hardest thing for me was my son asked me, "Mommy, why do we keep moving?" He doesn't understand that I'm in hotels. So, he thinks that every time I take him to a hotel that we're moving to another place. And that hurt me to my soul. BOB WOODRUFF: You've never shown them this place at all? Q-TARA: They cannot come here.
SHE MAY NOT HAVE TOLD THEM BUT HER DAUGHTER KNOWS SOMETHING ISN'T RIGHT.
Q-TARA: My daughter's eight years old. She took all the money that she had and said, "Hey, Mommy, this'll help you buy a house." And I was overwhelmed. BOB WOODRUFF: She offered you money. Q-TARA: Yes. So, I guess she knows that it costs.
WHILE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO IMPROVE THE SYSTEM NON PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS ARE TRYING TO FILL THE GAPS. HERE IN NEW YORK, FOR EXAMPLE, THE JERICHO PROJECT IS WORKING ON THE HOUSING SHORTAGE…HELPING VETS GET THE BENEFITS THEY'RE ENTITLED TO AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL - HELPING THEM FIND A PLACE TO CALL HOME.
SOT TORI LYONS, Director Jericho Project and Bob Woodruff tour of new veterans housing site: Tori Lyons This was a vacant lot before we started. And it's gonna be all state of the art-- new construction. BOB WOODRUFF: And this'll be done by Spring? TORI LYONS: Yeah, we're looking February/March just to move in our first veterans.
JERICHO IS CURRENTLY CONSTRUCTING 2 VETERANS RESIDENCES THAT WILL OFFER PERMANENT HOUSING TO VETS FROM IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN - THIS ONE IS SCHEDULED TO OPEN IN MARCH…
SOT TORI LYONS: We've seen people-- with less than a year of being discharged from the military-- were showing up in the homeless shelter. And that's really alarming, because there was-- it was kind of commonly thought after Vietnam that it was maybe eight to ten years after the conflict ended that-- that the veterans showed up in large numbers. 00:19:38:00 that's why Jericho is building these now. Because people-- are already coming back. So, we don't have the luxury of waiting eight years for them to hit the street, so to speak.
THE CURRENT ECONOMY HAS ONLY MADE THINGS WORSE - ESPECIALLY FOR YOUNG VETERANS - THEIR UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS 20%, THAT'S ABOUT DOUBLE THE NATIONAL AVERAGE... MICHAEL MONROE IS ONE OF THOSE VETS, HE WAS A COMBAT MEDIC IN IRAQ AND NOW HE CAN'T FIND A JOB. HE'S BEEN LIVING AT THIS SHELTER FOR THE LAST 6 MONTHS…
BOB WOODRUFF If you had a message for Americans watching this, what would be your-- your message to them? MIKE Don't-- just, you know, once we get home, don't forget us. I mean, there's a bunch of us still here. And-- you know, some of us do need a little bit more help than others. And just be there.
BUT FOR SGT. HENRY THINGS ARE LOOKING UP…WITH THE HELP OF JERICHO SHE HOPES TO HAVE HER OWN APARTMENT BY CHRISTMAS…
SOT DEBBIE MODESTE - JERICHO: We are working very hard so she can have her kids over. Sot Q-Tara: it's been two years since I've had them for Christmas.