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Mt. Carmel working to reach rural veterans across Colorado

The nonprofit organization says there's lots of veterans who don't want to drive to Colorado Springs or Denver for services
Posted at 12:10 PM, Nov 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-24 14:10:23-05

PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. — Veteran Leeroy Meyers moved to Pueblo County when he was 9 years old, buying a house after his time in the military. Since then, he and his wife Pearl have fallen in love with their community. However, when she developed Multiple Sclerosis and needed assistance leaving her house, Meyers couldn't find the help he needed.

“I tried to get other services, it didn’t work out. I had never even heard of Mt. Carmel, they’re not publicized nearly as much as they should be," he said.

After reaching out to Mt. Carmel Veteran Service Center, they were able to help install a ramp outside of their house.

“They came through with flying colors so much, you wouldn’t believe it,” Meyers said.

At the Center for American Values in the Pueblo Riverwalk, the director for rural veteran services at Mt. Carmel, Sal Katz spoke with the community about what they have to offer in Pueblo.

“We just wanted to make sure they knew exactly what they were doing," Katz said.

The nonprofit said it's working to expand its reach into smaller, rural communities like Westcliffe, Trinidad and others.

“We know that there are lots of veterans in these rural counties who don’t want to come in and drive 2-3 hours for services, so we want to make sure Mt. Carmel reaches them," continued Katz.

Mt. Carmel is working with local governments to connect with veterans based on the services they need. Those include food services, rent assistance and help with mental health through their Next Chapter program, which has a qualified veteran on the other phone line.

“I would love to talk to a counselor, but a counselor or psychiatrist may not be a veteran, and may or may not understand me. But I know if someone on the other line is a veteran, it really makes a difference," Katz said.

Mt. Carmel is working to reach rural veterans across Colorado