Homeless veterans receive help at annual event in Oklahoma City

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OKLAHOMA CITY - From haircuts to dental work, to everything from help with housing, mental services, legal advice and more, veterans got much-needed help at Friday morning's Sooner Stand Down event.

"Basically what it is, is a one-stop-shop for services," said Cale Powers with the VA's homeless veterans program.

"Right now I'm trying to find out what resources are available and then take advantage of those resources," said Air Force veteran Victor Nelson.

Nelson served from 1990-1994 but is currently without a home to call his own.

He's living in a recovery house through the VA while working as a part-time substitute teacher, pursuing a master's degree.

He says manual labor isn't an option anymore due to disabilities and he wants to become more employable.

"Be able to use my mind as opposed to my body," Nelson said.

For nearly two decades, The Homeless Alliance and the Department of Veteran's Affairs have teamed up for this event - to help others - just like Victor.

"It's not necessarily a resource fair, it's a place for them to come and get help," said Powers.

In Oklahoma City, on a one-night census in the winter, 129 homeless veterans were found.

Representatives from this event say it's estimated to be 5-6 times that amount over the course of the year.

Last year, they served 177 at this event.

But it's not just homeless veterans they're helping daily at the Homeless Alliance.

It's anyone experiencing a tough time - even those with pets who often serve as an important form of protection.

"We don't turn anybody away," said Powers.

One thing that really separates the Homeless Alliance is they have a place for pets to stay too.

Not only that - they offer veterinary care for pets and that is very hard to find at shelters.

If you couldn't make today's event - you can get help at the day shelter all day every day.

If you're a veteran you're welcome to go to the VA's homeless walk-in office on the third floor.

It's open from 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. Monday-Friday.

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