HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A non-profit organization in our own backyard is helping veterans get back on their feet after falling on hard times.
Ron Wilson, the director of the Veterans Welcome Home and Resource Center in Little River, said most of the veterans they assist were found sleeping in their cars.
"They're not the ones that are out there on park benches. These are the ones who got hit with some financial difficulty all at once and they just had no place to go and they had no money," Wilson said.
The Veterans Welcome Home and Resource Center started serving veterans in 2014. Wilson, himself a veteran, dedicates his time to helping others when they have nowhere else to turn for assistance.
Services the center provides include things like job placement, filing VA claims and even financial assistance.
"When we find a vet that's late on mortgages or home payments or car payments or utility payments, we will work with the mortgage company, we will work with the utility company to get that squared away," Wilson said.
Brian Haynes, vice president of the War Vets Motorcycle Club, also helps with the resource center. He said there is an increasing number of veterans seeking assistance. Well over 100 are helped every year.
"It's important to us that our veterans get that leg up rather than a handout," Haynes said. "With veterans, that's what it's about. They don't want a handout; they want that leg up. They want that opportunity to fend for themselves. They want that opportunity to be a viable part of society without feeling like it was given to them as a handout quite often."
Throughout the whole process, the veterans also have a place to stay should they need it.
"Currently we have six veterans in our shelter and our policy here is to take them in and let them get their finances in order, and then help them get back into society so they can support themselves and do whatever is necessary to live," Wilson said.
Of course like anything else, that assistance comes at a price for the resource center, which runs off of donations from the community and fundraisers.
Most recently, Cavinder Elevators partnered with the center and hosted the Tee Up for Veterans Golf Tournament.
"We get funding from organizations in the community like Cavinder," Haynes said. "Like when they had the golf tournament that they just had, they allowed us to come out and be a part of that to get some donations from that and we don't get to do the kinds of things that we do in the community without that kind of generosity."
A date is already set for next year's tournament – Feb. 15, 2019. It will be held at Arrowhead County Club.
If you are a veteran in need, or know a veteran who could use some help from the Veterans Welcome Home and Resource Center, visit them at 421 Highway 57 South in Little River, or call them at 843-427-4598.
Click here for additional information.