Wounded Warriors provides bare necessities for homeless veterans in Collier County

Many American veterans face the reality that, when they return from war, they won’t have a home.

Wounded Warriors of Collier County is on a mission to help change that for our nation’s heroes, and the group went out to learn how many veterans are homeless in Collier County Friday. Wounded Warriors also went further to help provide homeless men and women with bare necessities.

“You know, here, it’s tough to survive,” said Charles Matura in Naples.

Matura told us he did not choose the life he lives.

“I’ve been homeless for three years living in a tent, and it gets tough,” Matura said.

Matura has lived in Naples his whole life and says it got to a point where he couldn’t afford it anymore.

“I remember when you could rent for $500 a month, and now you can’t find anything,” Matura said.

And that’s why, Friday, the community came together not only to get a count of how many homeless are in the area but to stop and take care of them as well.

“We had people here cutting hair this morning, making dental checkups, giving shots, a tremendous community effort,” said Dale Mullin, the president of Wounded Warriors Collier County.

Mullin says it was an emotion-filled day.

“Someone said they were determined they weren’t going to cry today, but they did,” Mullin said. “And I said, ‘How do you not cry at an event like this when you see the hearts and people you touched that are really in a need?”

And the tears came from something as small as giving away a blanket.

“I gave my blanket away to somebody out of my RV,” Mullin said. “He needed it more than I did. He sleeps in the woods.”

The Hunger and Homeless Coalition of Collier County says, the way the counts are already looking this year, it estimates at least 600 homeless people live in Collier County.

And groups such as the coalition and Wounded Warriors continue to support our heroes who are in need.

“Means a lot to many, many people whose homeless,” Matura said. “It’s an excellent thing.”

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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