IYC Update: Veteran desperate for hand up
OKLAHOMA CITY – Cornell Gallagher has one heck of an attitude, but his story will break your heart.
The disabled veteran is on the verge of homelessness.
He says over the years he’s watched the federal government slash his VA benefits.
Times have gotten so tough he can’t even afford running water or heat.
Through it all though, he’s managed to stay humble.
He said, “I look at each day just as a blessing just to get up and to see another day, and know there are others out there who are at a worse place than I am.”
Friday Cornell got a huge hand up.
He and other veterans made the rounds at the annual Sooner Stand Down, an event that provides extra help to homeless veterans.
Cornell got a haircut and a hot meal. We helped him apply for food stamps.
Plus he had his vision and blood pressure checked out.
Local non-profits, like Upward Transitions were on hand to answer questions, but the biggest news of the day was that Cornell met with a VA case worker about bumping up his benefits.
“I tend to be a positive person,” Cornell said. “If I get the evidence I need, which I do have the evidence. I’m confident that things will turn for the better.”
Things are already looking way up!
Cornell also stocked up on free stuff to help him survive the winter.
Darlene McClure is a social worker with the VA’s homeless program.
“If we can give one veteran a coat, if we can give em services and know they can leave here with much more than they came, then I feel we’ve accomplished what we need to do,” McClure said.
Cornell felt lost, but says he feels like he’s finally found his place in this world, once again.
“It’s always good to have someone in your corner to help you out and let you know things maybe a little bleak, but there is a brighter day,” Cornell said.
Cornell still owes thousands of dollars to his water and gas companies, which is why we’re continue to work with area agencies to get those utilities turned back on.
More information: homeless assistance resources in Oklahoma.