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Mishawaka group to honor homeless veterans

Mishawaka, IN -- Homes for Heroes in Mishawaka is set to host its fifth annual Helping Homeless Heroes celebration Saturday morning.

The group invites the whole Michiana community to join them as they honor local homeless veterans.

“These people served for us to have freedom and now they’re down and really need help,” said Jim McKininnies, Homes for Heroes representative in Northern Indiana.

Homes for Heroes have 11 sponsors for the event and are partnering with the Mishawaka police, fire department, and other groups.

McKininnies said that while they are going to honor homeless veterans in the area, the group encourages families to come out and meet the veterans.

“We actually shake their hands and see the people we’re helping,” said McKininnies.

He said he expects huge crowds for the event, with veterans from all over Michiana to come and be celebrated. Kent Laudeman, director of the Robert Miller Veterans Center for Homeless Veterans, said this community has a great reputation for helping veterans.

“I’m very proud of [Michiana] in terms of what they do to try and help veterans,” Laudeman said.

Richard Shorey, Air Force Vietnam Veteran who’s struggled with homelessness, is one of those veterans who have been on the receiving end of the community’s help. Shorey was evicted and left with nowhere to go.

“Wow here I’m homeless and I come in and you don’t know what to expect,” said Shorey.

But the Center has proved to be a safe haven and a “godsend” for Shorey – it’s given him shelter, food, and his brand new motorized wheelchair.

Shorey is just one of the many veterans living at the Robert Miller Veterans Center for Homeless Veterans to attend the celebration tomorrow.

Helping Homeless Heroes is begins at 11 a.m. on this Saturday at the Michana Homes for Heroes headquarters.

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