Coronavirus affects Raleigh non-profit’s ability to get homeless vets off the streets


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A little more than a month ago, Tremayne Henderson was starting a new chapter in his life. The Navy veteran was moving into his new apartment, leaving the days of homelessness behind him.

That process to get veterans off the streets has changed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Now it’s even more important — as we hear that we’re supposed to shelter in place — that having a place is so extremely important,” said CEO of CASA Mary Jean Seyda.

CASA is a non-profit that places veterans into housing. Nothing is being done in person because of the virus. Leasing and other paperwork are being signed via email as staff and volunteers work from home.

“We then communicate to the maintenance tech (to) please put the welcome-home basket (and) some other paperwork in the apartment, and then they lock the keys in a lockbox with a code right at the door,” Seyda said. “We give that code to the new tenant.”

New tenants will have a place to keep them safe.

“For the people who have moved in, they have thought it’s a miracle. And for us as staff, it’s like the highlight of our week,” Seyda said.

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