COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- James Griffith is helping veterans every day, but he welcomed hundreds of them on Tuesday with a simple goal: connect them with services to get a helping hand.
Tuesday marked the 22nd Annual El Paso County Homeless Veterans Coalition Stand Down event.
Griffith, who is also a veteran and helped organize the event, said, “There’s just a bond of comradeship that you form with military folks that you don’t forget when you get out. So it’s kind of paying it back, paying it forward.”
He said homeless veterans will receive personal care items along with many different services that will help keep them off the streets as winter approaches.
"We have a variety of social service organizations like Rocky Mountain Human Services, Greccio Housing, Pikes Peak Employment Center, Mt. Carmel Veterans Center,” Griffith said.
We were able to speak with a few of the veterans coming through, and they said they are extremely grateful for the opportunities and care items that are provided.
Drew Surendranath, a veteran taking part in the program said, “Probably without this program, I wouldn’t make it. And like I said, I really appreciate what everyone does here.”
However, Griffith says the most important aspect of today is the relationship that will be built between current military members and these veterans.
“Every veteran that comes through here will be matched with a military escort. What that does is it helps cement the relationship between the new vet that recognizes that they got a responsibility to the old one and the old one that recognizes that the military community still cares for them even if they are out of the service,” said Griffith.