BRUNSWICK COUNTY — A veteran of the Vietnam War found himself homeless a few years ago. He now lives in Southport. But out of his experience, he started a non-profit organization aimed at helping homeless vets find a place to live.
Geoff Jay’s done everything from sing in a band to work as a sound technician. But in the spring of 2006, he found himself homeless, and living out of his car and in the woods in South Carolina.
"It was a very eye-opening experience going to a gas station at 6 o’clock in the morning to take a shower," Geoff Jay said.
Some part-time work, led to a full time job when Jay moved to Southport. In November, Jay started Out From the Woods, an organization aimed at helping other vets find housing, and stay off the streets.
"That became intolerable to me," Jay said, "The idea that the veterans from the Iraq conflict would be coming back and showing up across this country at homeless shelters."
Colin Snyder is also part of Out From the Woods. Snyder is in the National Guard, and like Jay, he served his country, and at one point, called the woods his home. "I had to create a bed out of pine straw," Snyder said.
Together Snyder and Jay hope to end the homeless vet problem. Not just locally, but nationally.
"I think America needs to remember the sacrifices of their warriors in their war time." Thanks to donations from people in the community, Jay says he’s gotten the organization off the ground. The next step for Out From the Woods is launching a web site and building a community for homeless people to live in, that will serve as a model for the rest of the country.
To find out how you can help, you can contact Geoff Jay at (910)398-1297.