Senator learns more about plight of veterans

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Senator learns more about plight of veterans

Chillicothe Gazette – Homelessness and mental-health issues were hot topics when Sen. Sherrod Brown visited the Chillicothe VA hospital Thursday to speak with veterans and center hospital directors.

Director Jeff Gering said he was pleased Brown, a member of the Senate's Veterans Affairs Committee and a northeast Ohioan, took the time to visit and learn more about the veteran population in southern Ohio.

"Addressing homelessness among veterans in Cleveland is very different than in Appalachia," Gering said.

While the center always has worked to find homeless veterans a place to stay, the troubled economy has increased the number of veterans it must serve.

Foreclosures and more recent veterans returning home with mental-health problems have added local veterans in need of housing and mental-health assistance.

"It sounds like mental health and substance abuse are (some) of the major factors contributing to homelessness," Brown said.

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