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Veterans Inc. saving lives, working to end veteran homelessness

A recent Veterans Association survey found a more than 50% increase in homeless veterans in Montana from 2021 to 2022
David Teeples
Posted at 9:08 AM, May 27, 2024

MISSOULA — A recent Veterans Association survey found a more than 50% increase in homeless veterans in Montana from 2021 to 2022.

Organizations like Veterans Incorporated (Inc.) are working to lower that number.

MTN connected with Veterans Inc. and a veteran from Superior, Montana whose life was saved by their services on Memorial Day, to honor individuals who have come home from service.

David Teeples was in the Navy for a few months in 1969 until an old injury led to an honorable discharge. Then, he came to Montana to work as a laborer in 1995.

David Teeples
David Teeples shared that Veterans Inc. saved his life

“You know, I was staying in a 2024 ft trailer. I had to get out and panhandle to get gas to run the generator. I almost froze to death before the forest ranger found me,” Teeples shared.

Teeples was in dire need of help and connected with Greg Norgaard, housing specialist for Veterans Inc. “Well, especially in Montana and Missoula, specifically, the housing market is pretty tough or it can be to find affordable housing,” said Norgaard.

Norgaard has spent 9 years helping veterans who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless find places to live. He explained, “Once you get the housing, it's a lot easier to accomplish all those other problems and goals. It's sort of our way of paying, paying them back for their service.”

Greg Norgaard
"I often meet them where they are," Greg Norgaard said of his travels to help veterans all across western Montana

When Teeples was at his lowest, he says Veterans Inc. saved him.

“I got hit by a semi and it put me in the hospital about three months," he detailed. "Greg found out that I had got hurt and everything and he called me and I, I went in and he said, 'well, how can I help you'?”

Now, Teeples has a warm place to live and a steady job at Goodwill. He owes it all to Veterans Inc. “I don't go to nobody else except for Veterans Inc. because they're the only ones that bend over backwards to help me.”

If you or a veteran you know is in need of some support, call Veterans Incorporated at (800)-482-2565 or click here.