Intisar Faulkner, Ozarks News Brief

SPRINGFIELD-As of last year, Community Action says 18 percent of people in Greene County are homeless veterans

“And the first few days I didn’t know what to do accept pick up trash and sleep in a u-haul trailer,” says Debra Tindle.

So, Springfield’s Buckingham’s BBQ decided it was time to make a change.

“So Cameron, the owner, put a poll on Facebook to see what the community wanted for our $1,000 donation and the poll that won was Coming Home Veterans for homeless veterans,” says general manager at Buckingham’s Chris Pendley.

And the community was in full support of the restaurant

“There are other people that are actually bringing in other food. So, it’s really good to see that other people are pitching in as much as they can,” says Pendley.

And with 140 homeless showing up for the event, there was plenty of smiles and BBQ to go around.

“You know that’s just part of the owner’s way of giving back to the community, the city that he lives in and the city that’s making him a living. And I think that’s really cool,” says homeless volunteer Joseph Moreira.

The National Coalition of Homeless Veterans points to several factors to blame including; an affordable housing shortage, veterans living with PTSD, and limited health care access.

650, that’s about how many homeless veterans there are in Missouri. And in the United States there’s a total of around 50,000.

And some of the homeless called Buckingham’s generosity a blessing.

“The food was phenomenal it was great! and they were a blessing today by feeding us. I had no where to go no family or friends so they were a blessing to me.” says Tindle.