I am a veteran waiting on my SSI and working on bettering my VA
 benefits. When I applied for my SSI I was told over the phone I 
couldn't work.

I was working, had a full-time job as a forklift driver for Smith's and
 had a place to live. I had some health issues. When I applied for
 assistance, I was told that I pretty much had to become homeless to 
get any benefits and help. I've been homeless off and on since 2001 
when my wife left me and our three kids. The daughters went to live
 with Grandma and my son went with me.

I've lived with friends, lost everything I owned, including what I was
 going to leave my grandkids. My life gone, I started over, life gone 
again. I'm 62 years old. Four times I have been assaulted by knives, 
jumped by 11 teenagers at one time. I took care of that and showed 
them this old vet still has it. I've been run off the road three times, hit and 
run once.

I try to help keep the parks clean. We, the homeless, help the police
 find stolen property. There are quite a lot of us that do work. But you
 say there is no help, can't find a place to use. What about the old
 cineplex? It's been sitting there for how many years collecting dust.
 Most of us homeless are veterans with carpentering and construction 
experience. We could go in and put in all volunteer work. Maybe
 someone might donate lumber.

All of us get food stamps and if we had a place to cook we could share 
by putting in $50 a month, making it possible for us to have healthy
 meals. If the town is willing to help us, we will help you tenfold. We are 
not dumb. We hear and see things every day.

Please, we are not all bad.
 All that we ask if for you to remember, we are all the same in God's 
eyes.

David Kelly

Pendleton

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