CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio) — As many as two dozen military veterans say they will spend the night camping out in the South Loop to raise awareness — and money — for veterans who are homeless.
They will be outdoors until Saturday morning.READ MORE: 1 Person Dead, Another Injured In 4 Car Crash In Waukegan
That’s the plan for the 5th annual 24-Hour Homeless Veteran Sleepout. These veterans who have homes are showing their support for their comrades who do not.
“We’re experiencing what they experience, only for one day,” Karen Hernandez tells WBBM’s Steve Miller.
The 28-year-old Army captain is one of those sleeping out in a sculpture garden at 11th and Wabash.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Slightly Warmer Temperatures Before Cold Returns
She says homeless veterans she’s talked to feel like the system has failed them.
“Once you’re out of the service, it’s kind of like, OK, thank you for your service — see you later,” she says.
“That’s something everybody loves to say. ‘Thank you for your service.’ But in what ways are you really thanking a veteran?”MORE NEWS: Woman, 2 Children In Hospital After Building Fire In Homan Square
There are reportedly more than 1,000 Illinois veterans who are homeless.