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Veterans services need help amidst COVID-19 stay-at-home order

Mt. Carmel Veterans Services Center on Communication Circle

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - Veterans services organizations in the Pikes Peak region are looking for help from the community as more former military personnel seek assistance during the COVID-19 emergency.

The organizations are allowed to operate during Governor Jared Polis' stay-at-home order that went into effect Thursday morning.

While Mt. Carmel's physical location on Communication Circle is currently limiting visitors, supervisors there told KRDO the non-profit organization is providing a helping hand to veterans in need remotely, as well.

"Our community’s veterans are just as concerned as the rest of us but their posture and leadership in the midst of uncertainty has trained them to weather this challenge," said Laura Marth, a spokesperson for Mt. Carmel.

Marth said they're continuing to serve veterans and their families with all of the organization's service lines including emergency needs, behavioral health, and employment opportunities.

"Mt. Carmel is providing clients with grocery cards, gas vouchers, housing assistance, counseling services through TeleHealth and employment opportunities, including those recently laid off," Marth said.

KRDO spoke with the Chief Operating Officer of Mt. Carmel, Bob McLaughlin, to learn more about the current challenges facing local veterans - given the changing circumstances - and how the community can help.

McLaughlin told us that while in many cases the military makes you stronger, veterans are still struggling right now, too.

"Just like everyone else in the community, they're wondering: if affected by this, how do I feed my family?" said McLaughlin.

While Mount Carmel is currently limiting visitors, supervisors told me they're helping veterans in need remotely, as well, with all the same services as before like finding work, getting mental health assistance, and more.

"As people are getting laid off they're going to need immediate things like gas coupons, they may need rent assistance,” said McLaughlin. “So those are the things that are most important now that we get more of those basic things so we can distribute them to people in need so they can get back on their feet."

McLaughlin says the veterans need help now more than ever, and it's our duty to get it to them.

"Our veterans sacrificed a lot for the nation - those with multiple deployments, multiple family separations. We owe them and their families anything and everything we can do to make their families strong and limit stress on them during this trying time."

Mount Carmel is just one of many organizations you can donate to that help veterans in need in the Pikes Peak Region.

Here's a list of some local veterans organizations:

Mount Carmel Veterans Services Center

Crawford House - Colorado Veterans Resource Co

The Home Front Cares

Wounded Warrior Project

Colorado Springs Vet Center

Victory Service Dogs, Inc.

Operation TBI Freedom

Disabled American Veterans

Colorado Springs / Military / News

Julia Donovan

Julia is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Julia here.