Agencies pool resources to help homeless veterans

Veterans who are homeless and in need of help were given a new chance Saturday morning.

"This is a great opportunity for us to bring the community together to help end our homeless crisis," said Shellie Legarsky, the director of Homeless and Prevention Services for Jewish Family and Children Services of the Suncoast.

Saturday morning, they brought dozens of organizations from Sarasota and Manatee County and their resources to more than 100 homeless veterans during Stand Down.

"We bring them here, we provide the free transportation for them and then we have the 12th Circuit Court here, the flow bus, all these services that could help them eliminate those barriers," said Legarsky.

They connected men and women with programs and people to help with housing, veteran benefits and daily necessities.

Streets of Paradise offered a simple shower and a new change of clothes.

"It's so important we are here and we show up with the rest of the community, to let them know they are not forgotten and they are not expendable and that they matter," said Gregory Cruz, the founder of Streets of Paradise.

Life comes with hard moments. But after going through a few setbacks and losing her home, veteran Sandie Sanderson has hope.

"It’s a lot because when I first got out, there was nothing and now there’s at least some gratitude," said Sanderson.

They're working as a community to uplift veterans who've given so much for all.

"We try not to look at any thank you as a simple thank you. Every bit of appreciation just goes such a long way. We do this 100% from our hearts," added Cruz.