Homeless Veteran Lives Out Of His Car In Memphis - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Homeless Veteran Lives Out Of His Car In Memphis

Posted: Updated:
  • Homeless Veteran Lives Out Of His Car In MemphisMore>>

  • Get FOX13 Breaking News on your mobile device

    Get FOX13 Breaking News on your mobile device

    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
    Get breaking news alerts on your mobile device direct from the FOX13 news desk. On average, you could get as many as three to five alerts on a busy day, as the news merits. Just fill out the form below
    Get breaking news alerts on your mobile device direct from the FOX13 news desk. On average, you could get as many as three to five alerts on a busy day, as the news merits. Just fill out the form below
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) – - “If I can stop at a relative’s house, wash clothes, hang up my clothes or whatever I’ll do that. But as far as a place to stay I don’t have anything,” says Lonnie Whitfield.

The Marine Corps veteran was evicted from his apartment a few weeks ago. He’s been homeless ever since.

Whitfield is studying accounting at Southwest Community College, using VA benefits. He stays at school as long as he can, and then he heads to McDonald’s to do homework.

“I just spend most of my days at school trying to get as much, trying to stay occupied as busy doing as much homework and classwork as I can. Try to get ahead of the game so I can basically stay out of the heat.”

A fellow Marine told Whitfield about a housing project for homeless veterans called Hud-Vash. It’s run through VA hospitals around the country in partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Whitfield says he reached out, asking for help.

“When I contact them, you know, I get the runaround. I get treated like, you know, I’m, am I too young to be homeless. Am I too young to have any kind of problems or anything like that you know it’s insulting the way they interact with me,” says Whitfield.

Whitfield says the VA referred him to another office. He hasn’t even been told if he’s eligible for the program.

A Memphis VA spokesperson says they can’t discuss Whitfield’s situation because of privacy policies, but did email FOX13 a statement, saying in part, “We are committed to our mission of caring for Veterans with the highest quality care they have earned and deserve.”

The Memphis VA Medical Center has already allocated its 380 Hud-Vash housing vouchers. They anticipate 15 more vouchers late this summer. The Medical Center also has an outreach program and a transitional housing program.

Whitfield says, “Just point me somewhere, and let me know something. But the only thing I was told was leave a number and we’ll call you back eventually.”

After 4 years of serving his country, Lonnie Whitfield thinks he deserves more.

Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices