Organizations come together to provide services to homeless veterans in the community of Sarasota


An opportunity to speak and tell their story.
Veterans who are homeless and in need of help got another chance on Saturday morning.

“This is a great opportunity for us to bring the community together to help end our homelessness crisis,” said Shellie Legarsky.

Shellie Legarsky is the Director of Prevention and Homelessness Services for Suncoast Jewish Family and Children Services.
On Saturday morning, they brought dozens of Sarasota and Manatee County organizations and their resources to more than 100 homeless veterans during Stand Down.

“We bring them here, we provide them with free transportation, and then we have the 12th circuit court here, the Flow bus, all of these services that could help them remove these barriers,” Legarsky said.

They put men and women in touch with programs and people to help with housing, veterans benefits and daily necessities.
Streets of Paradise offered a simple shower and a new change of clothes.

“It’s so important that we are here and show up with the rest of the community, to let them know that they are not being forgotten and that they are not consumable and that they matter,” said Gregory Cruz, founder of Streets of Paradise.

Life comes with rough times after going through a few setbacks and losing her home, veteran Sandie Sanderson has hope.

“It’s a lot because when I first went out there was nothing and now there is at least some gratitude,” Sanderson said.

Work as a community to uplift the veterans who have given so much for all.

“We try not to think of thanks as a simple thank you. Every appreciation goes a long way. We do it 100% with our heart,” said Cruz.


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