CHICAGO - This November, FOX 32 Chicago is teaming up with the largest veteran organization in America.
Tonight, we share an incredible example of how U.S. Vets is helping to end homelessness among veterans nationwide.
U.S. Vets serves over 20,000 veterans each year. They provide housing, employment, support and even the unexpected.
"I was absolutely floored. It gave me a new freedom that I hadn't had in quite a while," said Vietnam Veteran Steve Doloresco.
Doloresco was just gifted a new car. Earlier this year, he was homeless.
"The number of homeless veterans estimated in our country is 38 thousand," said Shalimar Cabrera, Executive Director of U.S. Vets Las Vegas.
U.S. Vets is the largest veteran organization in the nation, providing housing and support to veterans experiencing homelessness or at-risk of becoming homeless, like Doloresco.
"Eight years ago he was diagnosed with Stage 4 liver cancer and given 30 days to live," Cabrera said. "Earlier this year, he found himself homeless, had lost everything with no place to go. Fortunately, he was able to get to the VA hospital here in Las Vegas and they referred him to our transitional housing program."
Studies show male veterans are one-and-a-half times more likely to become homeless than non-veterans.
For female veterans, the number is almost four times.
"Someone who has served in our country's military would come back and transition out of service then find themselves homeless on the very street that they fought to defend," Cabrera said.
For Doloresco, they provided food, shelter, employment, plus an ID and bankcard, because everything he had was stolen on the streets.
"I'm indebted to them. The only thing I did was stick out my hand and ask for help. And they were there every inch of the way," Doloresco said.
For more information on the work U.S. Vets provides and to help, visit usvets.org.