Donald Morgan found himself homeless after serving in the Marine Corps for 12 years. Upon separating from service, he did not realize how hard the transition would be and how hard it would be to find employment. He quickly feel into debt and had to file for bankruptcy.
Morgan reached out to the Family Endeavors Program in Onslow County where they helped him with housing which has helped him start to rebuild his life. According to the National Alliance to End Veterans Homelessness in America, the national veterans homeless rate in 2013 was 29 to every 10,000 veterans.
The Globe — Donald Morgan had been living couch to couch since becoming homeless in July, until the Family Endeavors Program, a non-profit organization in Onslow County stepped in to help.
Since he was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps after serving 12 years, Morgan saw firsthand how troubling the financial transition could be. Without a plan and a job, he quickly fell into debt, eventually filing for bankruptcy and had no choice but to send his four children away to live with their mother.
“You have to swallow your pride,” Morgan said. “If you need help, don’t sit back and expect it to come to you. You have to go out there and get it.”
After reaching out to the FEP, the program provided Morgan with a house. Thanks to the program’s help and a new job, Morgan is beginning to pick up the pieces slowly.
“The greatest thing of it all was I got my children back,” said Morgan.
Since opening their doors in September, the FEP has not just helped Morgan overcome homelessness, but approximately 57 others in the last two months. The program provides mentors and case managers to help re-establish families and determine needs for homeless men, women and children. They also help temporarily cover rent payments, utility costs, transportation and moving expenses for anyone in Onslow County who is eligible.
Approximately 33 percent of the homeless males in the country are veterans. The national rate for homelessness in 2013 for veterans was 29 homeless veterans per 10,000 veterans in the population, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness in America.
It is not just the male veterans who are suffering from homelessness, but females and their families as well. In November, 249 school-age children were identified as homeless in Onslow County alone. Many had been displaced, ran away, evicted or living in unfit homes. There are also numerous female Iraq and Afghanistan veterans currently sleeping in shelters and cars throughout the town, according to Barrett Kahl, the outreach specialist for Family Endeavors.