No hero should be homeless: tackling our community's homeless veteran problem
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
Being home for the holidays is the American ideal.
But hundreds of Clark County veterans who defended our nation's freedom have no place to call home on this 4th of July.
Arnold Stalk dedicates his life to the community's homeless veterans problem.
"There's a whole society that's a silent problem. You don't visually see a lot of it," said Stalk, founder of Veterans Village.
Five years ago, he turned an old, run-down motel into a place struggling veterans could call home.
Nestled between the pawn shops and restaurants on Las Vegas Blvd, just south of downtown, you will find Veterans Village.
Stalk says the housing complex is changing lives. It's a success story he is hoping to duplicate.
There are all types of veterans walking outside their rooms.
"I'm 76. Haha. 76!" said Ingram Decoud.
He may be pushing 80, but Decoud doesn't feel or act his age.
"I feel like I'm on cloud 10 sometimes. I don't even look at my age. Age has no limit," Decoud said.
The spunky and social Navy Veteran is one of 150 vets living at Veterans Village.
"Someone that's given their lives for our country. To have them live on the streets is unthinkable to me," explained Stalk.
Stalk provides hope and housing to homeless veterans. He does it in honor of his late father.
"My dad was a United States veteran and I promised him before he died I would do this and I can't stand to see our veterans treated bad," Stalk said.
The Veterans Village founder will soon replicate his success, just two miles down the road.
You could call it Veterans Village Part 2.
To say Stalk is proud would be an understatement.
"They all have their own kitchen, their own bath, their own living area," Stalk explained.
But Stalk isn't stopping there. He has a vision.
"We have to be thinking outside of the box," he continued.
Stalk plans on turning old shipping containers into housing units. They're economical and easy to build.
"It's a great alternative to somebody sleeping on the streets," said Stalk.
Just ask Decoud. In his eyes, no hero should be homeless.
"You can't do it on your own. You gotta have help," Decoud told News 3.
Veterans Village is made possible thanks to donations from the community.
Everything on the property has been donated, from the sheets on the beds to the shipping containers.
Stalk says it takes 20 dollars a day to house one homeless veteran.
To help, go to the Veterans Village website.