A new year means it's almost time for a new count of the homeless population in our area. Several challenges remain, especially for homeless veterans in our slice of South Florida.
Army veteran Leroy Rolle is leaving his homeless past behind in West Palm Beach and moving into a new apartment.
"It's 100 percent better than it was," said Rolle.
Just a few months ago, he was living a block away in a shack with no facilities.
"Life has many, you know, ups and downs. So this is my down," said Rolle when we interviewed him in November.
Rolle got help from the Stand Down House, a local group helping homeless vets get back on their feet.
More than 200 homeless veterans are living in the Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast.
For many, getting into housing can be a long process. “It's actually pretty tough," said Michael Kovacs.
Kovacs helps connect landlords with tenants. He placed Rolle in his new apartment.
In many cases, it's up to a landlord to take in, or not take in homeless veterans. Background checks, rent money in order and other factors weigh in.
"I want to help people but at the same time if I make a mistake, something goes wrong, somebody's going to come after me and say, you put that person in there I thought you checked them out," said Kovacs.