reStart Inc. and Greater KC Coalition to End Homelessness working to end homelessness among metro veterans

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Homelessness a serious issue among our nation's veterans, and a local group is taking that problem on.

There are homeless veterans here in the metro but the good news is, a lot of those veterans are closer than ever to finding homes.

Nine months ago, after serving in Iraq, 32-year-old Marine Corps veteran Ryan Foster returned to the metro and found himself homeless.

"I just really needed some help," Foster said. "I was in a situation where the apartment I was living in didn't renew my lease and I was really just kind of to the wind. I didn't really know what I was going to be able to do."

The young veteran, who was injured in combat and is now more than 50 percent disabled, turned to reStart Inc. for help.

Within two weeks, the non-profit, which is part of the Greater Kansas City Coalition for Ending Homelessness, found Ryan a new home and more.

"They paid for all my security deposit and everything for me to get in. They even paid for my move, to move everything from my storage unit into the house," Foster said.

Organizers said as of Wednesday, they have identified 150 veterans in Jackson and Wyandotte counties who are chronically homeless.

Many have disabilities and have been homeless for at least a year, but Coalition organizers said thanks to more resources from the Veteran Administration and agencies like ReStart, they're solving the problem and finding homes for the veterans.

"We've housed 421 since January of 2015, and we have 33 chronically homeless vets yet to house by the end of this year and we will have achieved functional zero," Evie Craig with reStart Inc. said.

"They completely turned my life around," Foster said.

The Coalition still needs to raise about $52,000 to find homes for those remaining 33 veterans.

You can visit the Coalition's page for the Functional Zero - Ending Veteran Homelessness Campaign to purchase shirts to benefit the cause, or contact reStart at or call (816) 472-5664.