CLEARWATER, Fla. - Michelle Limon is a homeless Army veteran who served in the Middle East.
"It's not a handout, it's a hand-up. And that's amazing cause it's just a chance to be able to get back on your feet and do it yourself," explained Limon.
She hopes to land one of the 32 new apartment units that the Homeless Emergency Project is unveiling Thursday.
The apartments, exclusively for veterans, address a growing problem: Homeless veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
"Thirty percent of the homeless population are veterans. Which is a significant disproportion to the number of veterans who live in the United States today," said Bruce Fyfe, Chairman of the Board for HEP.
Fyfe knows first-hand the struggles many of these veterans experience upon returning home. His son Brendan served three tours as a Marine in Iraq.
"He came home, but he did not come all the way home," recalled Fyfe.
Brendan suffered from severe PTSD and eventually died from a heroin overdose at the age of 24.
"Coming all the way home means being able to get up in the morning and functioning, and getting a job and having a family. Having all those things they fought so hard that you and I could have; in which they've been denied simply because of the experiences they've gone through," Fyfe explained.
In addition to the apartment, HEP provides all of the necessary social, medical and job search services that veterans need. There's also a new clubhouse to encourage socializing as a tool to help with reintegration into society.
Richard Hess is a homeless Navy veteran who suffers from depression and PTSD and hopes to land one of the units.
"When you're coming from the street, you really don't have hope. And then when someone's going to give you your own bed, and your own bedroom in your own apartment where nobody's going to mess with you, it's a big life-changer," said Hess.
"Definitely hope," smiled Limon.
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The U.S. Coast Guard expects the beautiful weather to bring out the boaters this weekend. They'll be out there enforcing the boating laws that apply to not only boats, but paddleboards too.