Veterans brave the cold, sleep outside to raise money for homeless vets

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - On one of the coldest nights this season, a group of veterans are sleeping outside and braving the below freezing temperatures for a good reason.

The veterans are spending the night out in the cold to raise money to support the more than 1000 veterans sleeping on Illinois’ streets.

One of the veterans is Harold Davis and he is desperate to find work.

"If veterans keep going to wars, signing up and getting out having nothing to do, you're going to have a street full of veterans, homeless, sleeping on the sidewalks,” said Davis.

For five years, Davis has panhandled the streets of Chicago. He was honorably discharged from the military, but hasn't been able to find a job that accommodates his level of education and military skills.

"There are no radio operators out here, so therefore I don't even have a chance to even function in a job
that I had in the military and there's a lot of us out here like that,” Davis said.

Twelve blocks away more than a dozen military veterans are sleeping outside. Their goal is to save people like Davis from life on the streets.

"A lot of people think that veterans feel like they are entitled,” said veteran Brian Ngo. "These people who are our brothers and sisters took time out of their life, to serve their country and to do something to try to make a difference and to have them sleep on the street is just something that I find unacceptable.”

The third annual sleep out is hosted by the veteran society of Columbia College. Money raised benefits the Illinois Branch of Volunteers of America, which provides housing assistance and job placement for veterans.

Veterans just like Davis, who graciously gave up his time, and now his life, to serve our country.

"Very few of us have a chance to excel and become something in regular society, as a veteran, we don't have nothing,” Davis said.

The volunteers hope to raise 10,000 dollars this year by sleeping outside in the cold.