Hundreds run at Phoenix Raceway to raise money to help veterans in Arizona

Morning came early for hundreds of people hoping to help Valley veterans by lacing up their shoes to support Arizona veteran programs, especially for homeless vets.

Hundreds were out on the Phoenix Raceway on Sunday morning running, walking and rolling to end veteran homelessness.

"No man or woman who has served the United States of America should be sleeping on the streets," said Michelle Jameson, executive director of U.S.VETS.

May 19 marked the 8th annual Steps for Vets Race and the first time it was held at the Phoenix Raceway.

The race is meant to raise money for services to help vets.

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"We provide housing, counseling, and career development. Whatever a veteran needs to cross from homelessness to housing, we're going to be there for that," Jameson said.

Josh Young is a veteran who served in the U.S. Navy from 2011 to 2017. He's worked firsthand with veterans experiencing homelessness.

"Some of them, they've just fallen on hard times. I had one guy who had a house burn down, and he was going through trying to haggle with insurance. Others tried life on their own when they got out, and they just ended up on the street," Young said.

He works with U.S. VETS to provide outreach for these veterans. He says it's something that's especially rewarding for him.

"Talk to guys who come into the program who've had hard times on the streets, and they finally get housing and the excitement and joy they have, it's like nothing else. It's really cool," Young said.

While it can be easy to judge, he asks people to take a step back, and realize that each of these homeless veterans has a story.

"I've certainly learned that, and you just don't know what that story is until you ask," he said.

Learn more about U.S. VETS by clicking here.