More Work Against Homelessness

More Work Against Homelessness

building blueprints

by Levi Newman on August 3, 2011

The VA has begun a new prevention effort against veteran homelessness.  Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki announced the launch of Support Services for Veteran Families.  With the initiation of the program, $60 million is being distributed among 85 non-profit community groups across the country.

One group, the United Way of Forsyth County, in North Carolina, already has plans for the $560,085 it is slated to receive.  They have targeted approximately 100 families who are especially in need of help.  These families will receive money over the “medium term” to help pay rental costs.  Some money will also go to pay for case managers.  The United Way of Forsyth employs case managers to assist currently homeless veterans create a plan to acquire and maintain a home.

Additionally, some of the money will augment a grant already in use renovating an old VFW post.  The building, under management by the N.C. Housing Foundation, is being completely stripped clean and rebuilt into a transitional housing environment.  The goal for the building is to house 30 disabled, homeless veterans while case managers assist the veterans in finding work and a home of their own.

 

Photo thanks to Todd Ehlers under creative commons license on Flickr.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

DesertVet91 August 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm

This is something I’ve been involved in within my own community for sometime – I created the Veterans Outreach Program at our Coalition for the Homeless. Imo, and based on my experience, the greatest “prevention” effort is not a housing first policy – it’s getting these guys into substance abuse programs and various other forms of treatment based on what’s keeping them homeless and unemployed. Because believe me, it’s not always the economy and the lack of jobs or training – I’ve been a Job Development Coordinator.
The majority I’ve worked with don’t want to work, show up to class, appointments, and I’ve seen vets get a roof over their head only to lose it because of their drug and/or alcohol addictions. This is a HUGE problem. Bigger than homelessness, it’s what creates it in many cases.

Case management has got to get a lot more aggressive and in many places the bleeding hearts enable bad behavior.

Every other day, I’ve stood outside my office and have watched the same vets over and over go to jail for public intox. Get released then 2 days later get arrested again.

I’m a peer support specialist, and I’m 80% SC for Combat PTSD — I’ve been at the bottom and have nearly succeeded at taking at my own life. It’s mental heath, and that’s a red-tape system within the VA that has a LONG ways to go or homelessness within the veteran communities will remain an ongoing and chronic problem.

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