TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — This December, our Giving Project is featuring a program that offers help to those who served our country.
With homelessness—or fear of being homeless—a growing issue in our community, Project Action for Veterans provides housing for veterans in need.
"The situation was very unexpected, and they came in and they helped me through.
They helped me get back on my feet."
~ Army Veteran Gabriel Lopez
Gabriel Lopez is one of the hundreds of success stories for Project Action for Veterans.
Lopez moved back to Tucson after retiring from the Army, only to get laid off from his new job when the pandemic hit.
He was unsure if he could stay in his new apartment.
"They were able to pay three months in advance for this apartment," said Lopez. "That's how they also offered me, if I needed a mattress, what else do I need," said Lopez.
Just in the last year, Project Action for Veterans has helped more than 300 veterans who were homeless or, like Gabriel Lopez, veterans with families who were concerned they soon would be homeless.
"We prevent that from happening," said Denise Lopez, the program manager for Project Action for Veterans.
She says they work closely with the VA to help veterans in need of housing.
They also work with landlords as rents continue to rise across Tucson.
"Working with them on decreasing those rents, because that's the biggest thing right now, is rent reasonable?" she said. "That's where we're having a hard time housing our veterans because of the increased rent."
Project Action for Veterans is a program of the Primavera Foundation in Tucson.
"Our mission is pathways out of poverty through safe, affordable housing, workforce development, and neighborhood revitalization," said Tamara Prime, Primavera Foundation COO.
Primavera takes great pride in their program helping veterans facing homelessness.
"There's need and success stories," Prime said. "The combination keep us committed."
Success stories like Gabriel Lopez. He now has a job with Pima County.
His advice for fellow veterans:
"You're not alone. There is help.
Primavera's a great example.
Seek for it and they will help you."
We invite you to make a donation to Project Action for Veterans by using the QR code in the video, or by heading to the Giving Project section of our website. Even $5 or $10 will make a difference.
The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, our partners in the Giving Project, will match the first $500 in donations.
Pat Parris is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. He is a graduate of Sabino High School where he was the 1982 high school state track champion in the 800 meters. While in high school and college, he worked part-time in the KGUN 9 newsroom. Share your story ideas and important issues with Pat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by connecting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.