Lake County Organization Succeeds In Helping Homeless Vets

Steve Miller
July 02, 2019 - 3:33 pm

Shelley Hamilton, left, and her fiance, Christopher Richard. (The James Lovell Federal Health Care Center)

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(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A military health center in North Chicago is celebrating a milestone.

The James Lovell Federal Health Care Center says it's marking an end to veteran homelessness in Lake County.

It's not that there are no homeless veterans in Lake County. But officials say that they now believe they are addressing the needs of every homeless veteran they've identified in Lake County.

Like 50-year-old Christopher Richard, who served in the Air Force from 1988 to 1991 and moved to the Chicago area for a job. He lost his job in September 2017.

"Basically I ended up sleeping underneath a pine tree,” he said.

Richard received assistance from several organizations, including the VA, which helped him get an apartment.

Fast forward almost two years. Now, he helps other veterans who are on the brink of homelessness.

"I just got engaged.  And my fiancee and I will take them to get groceries."

One group estimates there are more than 800 homeless veterans in Illinois.