MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. - George Taylor, founder of National Veterans Homeless Support, is this week's News 6 Getting Results Award winner.
Taylor and a group of volunteers have been helping veterans find permanent housing in Brevard County since 2008. The nonprofit helps train volunteers to go into the woods, parks and food pantries to reach out to those in need.
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Every Monday, Taylor starts his week at the House Of Hope in Merritt Island.
"Everybody knows me here," he said while surveying the crowd of hundreds gathered to receive food, clothing and other items distributed by the Baptist church.
Taylor's eyes scanned the crowd from below his trademark black cowboy hat.
"Homeless veterans gather here because they've got phone service, medical services and they've got showers," he said.
Within minutes he was approached by a former paratrooper looking for advice on receiving VA benefits.
"They don't know what avenue to go down," he said. "They tell me stories about issues in the VA, issues in the military but they don't know how to get started."
Taylor has made it his business to learn the ins and outs of government bureaucracy. Homeless himself in 1989, he says he was one of the first combat veterans to receive therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. His first experience with charity work was helping veterans find housing after Hurricane Andrew.
"Together with my partners we get it done," he said. "My therapist tells me you know you walk point in Vietnam and you're still up front. Well, if that's what it takes to take care of our veterans who fought for this country then that's what I have to do."
Taylor was nominated for the Getting Results Award by Navy veteran, Ronald Williamson.
Williamson and his wife found themselves homeless after his paychecks from a former employer started bouncing.
"We were living in our car and then couldn't afford the insurance. We ended up on the street." he said.
Taylor helped find them permanent housing.
"He's a great person. He has a great heart," Williamson said. "We are so blessed that we met him and came across his path, just a spectacular person."
NVHS is looking for volunteers and donations to continue housing and therapy for low income veterans. You can find more information at www.nvhs.us.
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