Cornerstone Rescue Mission helps homeless veterans get back on their feet

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Like many veterans, 37-year-old Mathew Ortiz who served in the Army found himself homeless and in need of a way to get back on his feet.

Veterans area at Cornerstone Rescue Mission in Rapid City.

"I ended up losing my dad, and I moved out here to be closer to my son, so this is the only place that I knew of that would be able to help me out, so I came in, I stayed here for three weeks, they ended up hiring me on part-time," said Ortiz,.

That was about a year and a half ago and Ortiz has been working at the Cornerstone Rescue Mission ever since.

"To be able to see that gleam back in their eyes is just so important to me, just to know that they're going to be okay," said Teena Conrad, Supportive Services for Veteran Families at the Cornerstone Rescue Mission.

The mission helped 243 veteran families in South Dakota stabilize their housing last year by using plans that are unique to each veteran.

"It's the least I can do, if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be in the position I am now, I wouldn't have what I have now, they helped me get my place, which helped me in turn get a vehicle and everything else, so it it wasn't for them I wouldn't have what I have now," Ortiz said.

The mission can help veterans with deposits, rent, and car repairs with the goal that they find jobs and a permanent place to live.

"We've got to look at what they've done for us, they all signed on that dotted line for our country, to serve our country, and that wasn't just well I'll do it eight hours a day, when they signed up, they signed up with their life," Conrad said.