LUBBOCK, TX– Every day, men and women around Lubbock are without a roof over their heads. Some are even veterans who risk their lives for our country and are now braving the streets.
For four years, Vietnam Veteran Jimbo Robinson had no place he could call home.
“I really went from not having nothing to having all this right now,” said Robinson.
“I was working at the sanitation company as a mechanic and when they decided to downsize I lost my job, of course,” said Robinson.
Until one day when luck turned his way. He was living at Grace Campus when a representative from Vetstar, an organization designed to help Texas veterans, found him.
“They got me all set up here. I mean most of this furniture is donated. It’s amazing how it helped me after all this time,” said Robinson.
According to a study done by the VA, veterans are at a higher risk of homelessness due to higher rates of mental illness, substance abuse, and low income.
“When you go from active duty to civilian life, there is a transitional period of trying to find your place you know you were in a fast rapid environment where you thrive on chaos and you are trying to bring that down so sometimes making that transition is a little bit difficult,” said Benny Guerrero of the Lubbock VFW.
According to the South Plains Homeless Consortium, 5% of Lubbock’s homeless population are veterans. Guerrero says that for some veterans asking for help can be challenging.
“We do have some veterans who live with that guilt who don’t even want help. It’s that they are willing to struggle and they want to figure it out themselves but that’s not the answer,” said Guerrero.
But the program that gave Robinson everything he has, when he was homeless, he didn’t know it existed. Now he’s trying to let other veterans know that help is out there.
“I hate seeing someone on the streets in cold weather like this. You know not having enough clothes and food, it’s just really depressing especially if it’s a veteran. Cause there are a bunch of places they can go instead of staying on the streets and trying to suffer through it,” said Robinson.
And he wants to make sure they know that they aren’t alone.
“We are a team and we don’t want to let anybody down and we want to get them back on their feet,” said Guerrero.
“I’m doing a lot better now and doing things I want to do and there isn’t anyone around here to hassle me you know?” said Robinson.
But in the meantime, both he and Guerrero are hoping that those veterans that need help, don’t hesitate to ask for it.
“We are your buddies, man, and we’ve walked in your shoes. And we are asking you — hey let me carry your pack. I know it’s a little heavy right now but let me carry it for a little while. Let’s see if we can lighten the load a little bit and get you back on your feet,” said Guerrero.
Salvation Army, Open Door, Grace Campus, and Vetstar all have available programs for any homeless veterans seeking help.