The debate about resettling Syrian refugees has some people asking, “Why don’t we use that money on homeless veterans instead?” We asked homeless veterans in downtown Seattle what they thought. In line at The Millionaire Club, veteran Greg Klutcher shared his view: “The whole reason veterans fought for what they did is so that people like that could come here. Everybody needs a helping hand sometimes.” Klutcher has been homeless for six months. Also in line was Damon Lyons, a veteran who said he’d like to see more funding for homeless vets, but not at the expense of refugees. “There should be middle ground,” Lyons said. “Those people are now in distress.” He’s been homeless for two years. Lyons and Klutcher were at an event hosted by the Seattle area’s Muslim community. It’s called “Day of Dignity,” and it’s been hosted by the Muslim community for the last 10 years. They give out sleeping bags, haircuts and other items to hundreds of homeless people. Among the volunteers were two brothers – Syrian refugees who came to Seattle with their family a few months ago. The brothers volunteer at events like this because they say they want to give back to the community that’s welcomed them.
Photo: KUOW / Liz Jones