Metro veteran living in tent in backyard after house catches fire

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- He served his country honorably. Now a disabled, homeless veteran needs help.

William Grant served from 1979 to 1984 and was honorably discharged. Now, he and his girlfriend are living in a tent behind his house because it caught fire about four months ago.

“Just slowly but surely putting it back together,” Grant said.

Their son, Billy, would love to help them but has his own struggles.

“It breaks my heart,” Billy said. "Having to live this way, they've had no utilities for a while. It just hurts my heart having to see them live in a tent out in the cold. I would like to see them helped to get into a home or something or help getting this one fixed."

When asked why they don't utilize the government resources that are supposed to be available for veterans, they said they've tried.

“I stay here to watch the house, so nobody goes in there and takes what`s in it,” said Genna Grant-Richards, Grant’s girlfriend. “I already applied for housing but, you know, there`s a waiting list.”

Grant's mom and dad bought the house in the 50s, and they said the cause of the fire was never determined.

“They really care about this house because it was my grandfather`s house, and it was passed down to my father. And it was going to be passed down to me, so it has sentimental value,” Billy added.

“It`s terrible. It`s sad,” Grant-Richards said.

“Just trying to survive, one day at a time,” Grant added.

And they say they will survive -- right here -- for now.