KOAA5 – By Kelsey Kennedy
COLORADO SPRINGS –
A homeless veteran in Colorado Springs in need of work is gathering signatures on a petition he hopes to send to Washington D.C. He’s asking for a law that gives employers a federal tax credit for employing the homeless.
Stanley Vilinsky is currently living out of his car, desperately looking for a job. He says some employers have been enthusiastic at first. “Once they see that I’m homeless or know that I’m homeless, that completely goes out the window.”
He hopes in the long run a tax credit for employers could help people struggling get back on their feet. While his situation is frustrating, he’s not gathering signatures just for himself. He hopes to prove most people on the street just need a hand up.
“Not only will this help homeless citizens get jobs, it’ll help future citizens of this country that become homeless for any situation get jobs,” Vilinsky said.
Raven Canon has seen the impact employing people experiencing homelessness can have. Her vendors sell the “Springs Echo,” a new street newspaper.
“Giving somebody a job, even if it’s just swapping out the cardboard sign for a newspaper, gives them dignity, pride and self respect,” she said. “I know that from personal experience.”
Vilinsky has reached out to politicians at the local and federal levels in hopes of enacting change. He’s also gathering signatures on change.org in hopes of getting their attention.