On pace: Ending veteran homelessness in D.C.

Wilie Bowler, (C), is interviewed by Ann Oliva, (L) director of HUD\'s Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPs), and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, (R) on the 200 block of 8th St. NE, Washington D.C., January 31, 2013. They are participating in a Point-in-Time (PIT) count walk with local homeless advocates to find and identify the number of homeless Americans on the street, including veterans, as part of an effort to end veterans homelessness by the end of 2015. The \'point-in-time\' homeless count, is an exercise that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has required of jurisdictions nationwide in order to receive federal grant money aimed at reducing homelessness. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Alan Banks is an Air Force veteran and father. In 1996 he was married and making six figures in security and law enforcement when he experienced something he never imagined.

“I had a very good income, a home built, a lot of nice toys and was living life very well,” says Banks, a D.C. native.

But Banks struggled with depression all of his life, and when his dad died suddenly that year, he lost everything. “That just was the trip that took hold of me; I just wasn’t able to recover from it,” he says. “It wasn’t that I made a conscious decision to stop working


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