Fort Worth

Fort Worth Veteran Struggles to Find Job, Home

50,000 veterans are homeless nationwide

As America remembers its veterans on Wednesday, one vet from Fort Worth says he feels forgotten.

Ulysses Lauderdale, 55, who served in the U.S. Army in the 1980s, is looking for a job and a home.

He skipped the Veteran's Day parade just a few miles away, saying he didn't feel comfortable going and had to search for work.

"They don't remember," he said. "(We are) the forgotten soldiers."

He is one of about 50,000 homeless veterans nationwide.

"I'm Army strong," the Polytechnic High School graduate said. "I'm Army strong because it gave me the mental fortitude to do the best I could."

He said he lost his job as a dishwasher, along with his car and his home, about nine months ago.

"It was very tough," he said about living on the street. "I cried the first day."

He found help at Fort Worth's Presbyterian Night Shelter, where he sleeps at night.

"Just about everything I got, I got from here," he said, pointing to some clothes in a closet. "I came here with nothing."

The shelter has 675 beds for men, women and children. About 85 of the beds are dedicated just to veterans.

"You can call it home," Lauderdale said. "But you can never convince me."

He said he sees the shelter as just temporary and is confident he'll find a job soon and get his life back together.

"I'm positive I'm going to make it," he said.

Toby Owen, who manages the Presbyterian Night Shelter, said the number of homeless vets has gone down significantly in recent years but remains a problem.

"It takes events like today and stories like this to remind the public that there are homeless individuals who are veterans and served our country that definitely need the help," he said.

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