Reach Services hosts 2019 Operation Vanguard to help homeless and at-risk veterans


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Local volunteers and staff at Reach Services participate in Operation Vanguard to benefit homeless and at-risk veterans.

In July of this year, Vigo County officials counted that more than 500 people were considered homeless in the county.

Among this group are men and women who have served our country.

“That means they’re living on the streets, they’re living in cars, they’re living in abandoned buildings. Then you have the one’s that are at risk that are without utilities or facing eminent eviction,” said Noble Shaw, Reach Services Veterans program manager.

Brittany Allen is a local veteran that served the U.S. Army from 2009-2012 and like some other’s she recently struggled with homelessness.

Now, Allen is volunteering in events like Operation Vanguard to show other’s they are not alone.

“So many people think that somebody forgot about them, families, friends, the community. They’re just lonely and they’re hungry. They just want attention, they want to know when they’re loved,” Allen said.

Allen says when she faced hardships that Reach Services was there to help get her back on feet.

“We don’t go hungry anymore or and we stay warm and that’s because of these people,” Allen said.

While sleeping outside in freezing temperatures can be tough for volunteers, organizers say Operation Vanguard is about much more.

“We’re trying to bring awareness that they are out there, they are living in these harsh environments. They’re living in it. We’re just doing it for the week to bring attention to,” Shaw said.

If you would like to participate in Operation Vanguard there is still time, the event lasts until Tuesday.

Shaw also says they are accepting more volunteers and donations.

Saturday is Pancakes for Patriots at Reach Services.

$5 dollars will get you all of the pancakes, Sausage and coffee you want. The event runs runs from 8 A.M. until noon.

On Sunday at 1:30, Commonground Yoga and Crossfit Studio is hosting a meditation class with proceeds going to the program.

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