The holiday season is usually a busy time for organizations, like the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, hoping to help people out around this time of year, especially those who’ve served our country.
“I’m also 80 years old. I need a whole lot better than what I’m getting,” said David, a homeless veteran.
David’s has been living out of his van for the last 25 years. The Air Force veteran lives on the valley streets, hoping to find change one day.
“Well, I’ve been retired, yes but I enjoy work,” David said.
David says the holidays are some of the toughest days to get through after the loss of his wife.
“Terribly bad, because I miss my wife so much. I mean, I can’t even talk about it,” David said.
The same goes for Army veteran Carl Allen, once homeless, now living at the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission for more than a month.
“It’s difficult not being around family, my kids, but this is a great mission. I’m learning a lot here,” Allen said.
Administrators at the mission say they typically serve about two dozen veterans every holiday season. Either helping them find a job or making sure they have a place to stay.
“We’re kind of like a holding area for veterans. Once they get here, we pat them down. We shower them. We get them clean clothes. We give them different avenues to go down, resources to check out,” said David Willard, Veterans Senior Consultant at CVRM.
Making sure those like Allen don’t give up during the season of giving.
“This will teach me to make me a better person. A better father than I need to be to my kid,” Allen said.
Willard said the mission also partners with other organizations like Loma Linda and the Salvation Army to help veterans during the holidays.