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Downtown Safety Alliance raises money for Grace Home Veteran's C - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Downtown Safety Alliance raises money for Grace Home Veteran's Center

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The Downtown Safety Alliance presented the Grace Home Veteran's Center, which helps homeless veterans, a check for $558.42 Wednesday. The Downtown Safety Alliance presented the Grace Home Veteran's Center, which helps homeless veterans, a check for $558.42 Wednesday.
The Grace Home opened in September.  All ten rooms are occupied and Chafin says six people are currently on the waiting list. The Grace Home opened in September. All ten rooms are occupied and Chafin says six people are currently on the waiting list.
GREAT FALLS -

Volunteers at Grace Home Veteran's Center in Great Falls received a hefty chunk of change Wednesday morning.

The Downtown Safety Alliance presented the non-profit organization, which helps homeless veterans, with a check for $558.42.

The Safety Alliance includes NeighborWorks Great Falls, the Great Falls Police Department, the Business Improvement District, the Downtown Development Partnership, Neighborhood Councils, Farmers Insurance and The Downtown Great Falls Association. 

The group started, 'Coins for a Cause' in 2012 as a way to decrease panhandling by placing change jars and containers in downtown businesses.

With each year, Alliance members say the amount of support from the business community has increased; this year's fundraiser had locations in 20 businesses.

They say the best way to help those in need is to work directly with groups like Grace Home, the Rescue Mission and the YWCA.

"There are people who panhandle that really do need the money - but some people use it to support addictions and other issues, so we in no way want to be supporting someone to be buying something that's going to harm them or the community," said NeighborWorks Great Falls Community Building Specialist Carol Bronson.

Grace Home's supervisor says today's donation will help reduce food, housing, and transportation costs.

"Like everybody else we have electric, we have gas, we have water, we have heating bills - with this winter they were astronomical - but no one never froze, everybody was warm but we are a non-profit and everything goes into the pursuit of helping our homeless veterans," said Supervisor Bill Chafin. 

St. Vincent de Paul Society has also partnered with the Grace Home since it's start; while the two organizations agree getting direct help is best for those in need, they have identified homeless camps in the Great Falls area and work on a weekly outreach mission.

"About a third of those folks (living in homeless camps around the city) are identified as veterans so, we are helping a portion that needs to be helped and our community really loves it's military and the vets so, it was a great project for us to go after," said St. Vincent de Paul Society Board President Don Miller. 

Grace Home opened in September.  All 10 rooms are occupied and Chafin says six people are currently on the waiting list.

"Without the Great Falls communities' support, we couldn't be doing what we're doing, and I thank each and every person that has helped us in this endeavor," said Chafin. 

For more information on homelessness, visit the National Coalition for the Homeless at http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/index.html#basic

For more information about the Grace Home Veteran's Center, visit https://www.facebook.com/gracehomegreatfalls/

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