Homeless Shelter Honors Veterans

Leah Uko

OMAHA (KPTM) - Veterans at the Siena/Francis House were given honors Sunday for Veterans Day. Homelessness is a problem that plagues many of those who have served the country; but the shelter's event still reminds them of the community's appreciation of them.

Not the wind chill, not the long lines or the crowded lobby--nothing dampened this community's mood because Sunday was Veterans Day--their day.

"Normally this place is dead," said Sgt. Charles Thomas who served in the United States Air Force. "This is something I've never attended and I'm having a good time."

Nearly 500 men and women currently live at the Siena/Francis House in Omaha. One-third of them are veterans.

Sunday, the homeless shelter prepared a feast and passed out gifts all to celebrate the veterans who live there.

"We want to let them know that we respect them, that we honor them and we thank them for their service to our country," said Sister Stephanie Matcha with Siena/Francis.

They fed more than 250 people--veterans and residents. They do this not just on Veterans Day, but every day.

"This really makes us feel special. This hot meal, you have a variety of meats, of course you have the ice cream and everything," said Lowell Brooks who served in the United States Air Force. " And then it gets all of us together and we actually all get along."

The whole purpose of this event was to let the residents know that just because their living situation may not be stable, that for now Siena/Francis is their home.

"They deserve special attention and we try to provide for their needs as well as honor them," Sr. Matcha said.

And though they may not feel the love year-round--

"I think people just look pass them as if they're invisible and don't have enough passion in their hearts to try to help out," said Keri Jensen who served in the United States Air Force.

They said it is nice to feel the love on Veterans Day--their day.