HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Whether you pay attention or not, whether you like it or not, there are homeless people in our community. Many of them are veterans. One man is on a mission to make sure they get help.
WHNT NEWS 19 Viewer Mary Westbrooks nominated Rusty Loiselle, founder of Help Our Homeless Veterans and Citizens. Her email reads:
"He spends every waking moment, and probably sleep hours also, helping the homeless of Huntsville. He organizes food, clothing, bedding, tents and necessities drives all week and then distributes them on Saturday. But it is not unusual to see him at any given time helping them. He carries the vets to appointments and tries to help get them the benefits they so desperately need and deserve.”
Westbrooks asked WHNT NEWS 19 to Pay it Forward. So, we showed up to surprise Loiselle at his home.
Rusty Loiselle had no idea we were coming and he definitely didn't know we were coming with cameras rolling and $319 in cash.
“Do you know how many hot dogs that will buy?,” said Loiselle, after receiving the money. “That's going to buy a lot of stuff for these people. They need it bad."
The needs of the homeless drive Loiselle. A U.S. Navy veteran himself, he lives by the motto, “One homeless veteran is one too many.”
Loiselle collects all kinds of items- food, clothes, blankets, propane - and takes them to the tents and areas of the city where many people homeless people stay. Loiselle says while the organization primarily focuses on veterans, they help anyone.
“Most of us are about two paychecks away from being homeless ourselves and wouldn't we want someone to help us," says Loiselle.
Loiselle assured us the help we delivered in the form of money will not go to waste.
“Believe me, it's going to go to a number of different places,” says Loiselle. “I thank you so much!"