Hometown Hero: Suzanne Jenkins

By: Katelyn Sykes Email
By: Katelyn Sykes Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Hundreds of homeless veterans in Kanawha County have a place to call home, thanks to the work of one woman.

In the past couple of years, this woman's not only helped these vets find housing, but has helped them integrate back into society.

Raymond Vargas is a war veteran and was homeless for 35 years. It wasn't until what he calls his "personal hero" came along and changed his life.

"Being homeless is very hard to begin with and for somebody to show kindness, caring, compassion like Ms. Jenkins does, I think that's a talent you just don't get everyday," Vargas said.

Vargas is talking about Suzanne Jenkins, the head VASH ( VA Supported Housing Program ) case manager in Charleston for the VA Homeless Program. She helps get housing for hundreds of veterans in Charleston.

"Once they find housing, I provide case management services to keep them housing," Jenkins said. "And my veterans have lots of stuff going on, and what we try to do is get them integrated back into the community. Get them from being homeless back into community members."

That's something Vargas said helped him get back on his feet.

"She works hard," he said. "She does so much for so many with so little. It's just amazing."

That's why Vargas nominated Suzanne as this week's Hometown Hero for her work getting homeless veterans into homes and back into society.

"It's nice to know that my veterans are, they enjoy what we're doing," Jenkins said. "One of the coolest things about this job is that it's not just about finding someone a home and moving them in which is a cool part, but it's also about getting to know these guys."

Jenkins said she doesn't feel like a hero, but said it's nice to know her veterans appreciate everything she does.

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