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Hundreds Of Volunteers Help Homeless Veterans Get Off The Streets

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- While this weekend honors those military members who lost their lives in the line of duty hundreds of volunteers are working to help some of those who did make it back.

An extraordinary event to help homeless veterans in every possible way is taking place in Miami this weekend.

It's an oasis where homeless veterans can step off the streets and into tents filled with volunteers handing out clothing, doing medical, dental and eye exams, offering fingerprints and id's and even a veterans court to resolve minor infractions on the records of homeless vets.

"What we've got going here is truly an attempt to help our veterans get off the streets," said Lt. Col. Antonio Colmenares, the Director of Veteran Services in the City of Miami.

"It's helping me out considerably as far as me getting my act together and a lot of things I don't have due to the fact that I'm homeless," said veteran Arthur Woods.

Woods isn't used to needing help. He's only been homeless for a fairly short time.

"It's been a real struggle because I lost my house a couple of years ago," said Woods.

What he needs are basic services that most of us take for granted.

"I need dental. I need some eyeglasses. I mostly need a place to stay and I need some income," said Woods.

The event also reminds Woods that he is not alone.

He and at least 200 other homeless veterans are getting that help thanks to 100 different organizations including the City of Miami Veteran Services Department, the Florida Veterans Foundation, and Operation Sacred Trust who gave two homeless veterans the ultimate reward…a brand new house.

"I was elated. I was so happy. It was amazing. I couldn't believe this happened," said Coast Guard veteran Gregory Lewis.

To Lewis, a house is more than just a place to stay. It's giving him the ability to reconnect with his family.

"To open that door is gonna be great because it's going to open other doors. I have two kids and four grandkids and they'll be able to visit me. I'll have a stable environment," said Lewis.

The fact that all of this help is coming to them on Memorial Day weekend makes it even more special.

"I want all the veterans and all the soldiers to find help because there is help out there for us and thank God, "said homeless veteran Marcus Moffett.

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