Group aims to end homelessness for veterans on First Coast

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homelessJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — They fought for us — now it’s our turn to fight for them. That’s what Five Star Veterans Centersays needs to be done to help veterans fend off homelessness.

“The transition has been difficult,” said Tony Gomez, who served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Gomez, who’s now in the reserves and identifies as homeless, says he moved into the center in Jacksonville to put his life back together.

“This place has been a Godsend for me and many of the other veterans who come here. The resources here are amazing to assist me and the other veterans as well as we try to transition and make ourselves back into the proud women and men that we once were,” said Gomez.

Gomez, who’s new to Jacksonville, says transitioning out of the military back into civilian life is one of the main obstacles many homeless veterans face.

That’s where Five Star Veterans Center steps in to help, according to the center’s director Suzie Loving.

“They go back to school,” she said. “They have to get a job.”

There’s counseling, physical activity, fellowship and housing available to help get veterans back on their feet.

“We run it like a mom and pop organization because there’s no one better to help someone than their mom and pop,” said Loving.

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