The Eureka Pacific Elks Lodge 2644 will hold its second annual Homeless Veterans Benefit Saturday, March 30.
“The issue of homeless veterans in our area has many groups working hard to end it,” said Mike Jefferies, who chairs the Elks Veterans Committee.
“Three years ago, the Eureka-Pacific Elks Lodge held its first Homeless Veterans fund-raiser,” he said. “We raised $15,000,which we distributed to local agencies to help the homeless veterans.”
The March 30 benefit will be held at Lodge 2644, located at 19 W. First St. It will begin at 11 a.m. and continue untill 7 p.m.
Food and a series of activities are being planned for the all-day event.
“With current troop withdrawal, many of our young men and women will be ending their military careers,” Jeffries noted. “This will mean more veterans in the workforce and more veterans looking for a place to call home.”
The Eureka-Pacific Elks fundraiser is part of a larger effort to make sure the community has the resources to ensure that the veterans returning home do not end up on the streets.
“Let’s make this year the year we end veteran homelessness,” Jeffries said.
The St. Louis Area Regional Commission on Homelessness has set Veterans Day of 2019 as the day for the country to have zero veterans on the streets.
“This is a tall order, but with everyone’s help it can be done,” Jeffries said.
The commission will be working on the city of St. Louis along with the counties of St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, Warren in Missouri and Madison and St. Clair in Illinois.
The Elks have a saying, “So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them.”
“I think that most of us believe, so long as there are veterans, we will never forget them,” Jeffries said. “Let’s help every veteran find a home.”