Program expands helping homeless Ohio vets needing homes

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A program that provides apartment deposits to help homeless veterans get into homes is expanding in Ohio.

Veterans Matter started in Toledo six years ago when Ken Leslie, a former homeless man, secured a donation to cover deposits for 35 homeless Toledo-area veterans.

The organization has now served 2,144 former military personnel in Toledo, Dayton and Cincinnati. The Columbus Dispatch reports a University of Toledo fundraiser this spring raised enough money to expand the service to the Cleveland and Columbus areas.

The program provides homeless vets with a deposit and share of first-month's rent if necessary while vets await rent vouchers through a U.S. Housing and Urban Development program.

About 40,000 U.S. veterans are homeless, with about 800 in Ohio.