Organizations That Help Homeless Veterans - UPSHUR COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Homeless veterans are a difficult problem to solve. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that as of January 2020, nearly 580,000 vets nationwide lacked stable housing, and that number has increased during the pandemic.
But a new nonprofit has been formed by veterans in Upshur County that plans to bring homeless veterans back into the community.
Organizations That Help Homeless Veterans
It doesn't look like much, a stretch of undeveloped land five miles southwest of Gilmer on Highway 155, but veterans Ken Hanson, Jay Wichlacz and Steven Reim see a community of tiny homes here.
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“Twenty to twenty-five units, to begin to see what our country looks like; placement method. We're going to get a community center in the middle of the property," Wichlacz said.
The three met recently. Stephen said he met Jay in the parking lot at 4 a.m. and they started talking.
“I told him my dream of building housing for homeless veterans, and he said the same. So we started working together and started making the dream come true," says Reim.
“Veterans Garage Sale. And I met with Jay and he told me about his vision, so I told him I wanted to help him," Hanson said.
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They started the project by creating a nonprofit called Veterans Together Strong, or VAST, and created a website. They said that 20 hectares of land will soon belong to VAST and that the program is still in its infancy.
“Hopefully we'll put the right people in place to make sure it's successful. Because when we build this thing, we want to build it to outlast all of us," Reim said.
So far, they have received several monetary donations and even a small house, but first the plot needs infrastructure: water, sewage, electricity, roads.
“We will also have a job recovery program where they can be connected to the Texas Workforce Solutions program so they can get a job. We're trying to turn them 100 percent and get them back on their feet and ready to go," Wichlak said.
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"It's hard to explain. I've got two of my brothers here and I've never met them. They're great guys and we just connected right away and we got together and I was like, hey guys, they were like, let's do this. , I said. Let's do it," Wichlacz said.
They hope the generosity of East Texas will help them build it so homeless vets can come home. The number of homeless veterans in America has declined over the past decade, but one important fact remains: even one homeless veteran is too many.
Veterans and veteran families should have access to safe and affordable housing, as well as access to financial assistance, mental health and support services through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
These programs help veterans prevent and end homelessness. From finding emergency shelter and affordable, permanent housing to providing health care and transitional justice services, VA helps veterans get back on their feet to overcome the homeless vet crisis.
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VA programs often overlap with other federal, state, and community programs to help America's homeless veterans. VA is also working with landlords to encourage them to rent homes to homeless veterans. Through these VA and housing programs, vets can receive permanent shelter, employment, and other necessary resources they deserve.
The Office of Homeless Programs (HPO) is a division of the VA dedicated to combating veteran homelessness by providing permanent and stable housing for all veterans. In January 2019, the VA estimated that more than 37,000 veterans were experiencing homelessness. The numbers have dropped dramatically since 2010, but the population considered homeless remains a problem that HPOs continue to address.
HPO works toward its mission to end veteran homelessness by finding veterans in need, connecting eligible veterans with housing solutions, and working with community resources to improve the lives of veterans. HPO seeks out employers, churches, nonprofits and other community organizations to help house veterans, get them back on their feet and back to work.
Homeless veterans, along with other veterans, may qualify for a variety of VA programs, such as VA loans and VA disability. Here's an overview of the different forms of assistance homeless veterans can use to meet their health care needs, find permanent housing, and receive vocational rehabilitation.
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First and foremost, VA is committed to helping homeless veterans by providing clean, affordable, and sustainable housing through a variety of housing programs.
One program is known as the US Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-WASH). It is a joint effort between HUD and the VA to ensure veterans have access to housing, and the program has repeatedly benefited veterans who have experienced homelessness. The HUD-VASH program uses a housing voucher system as rental assistance for veterans who qualify for Section 8 housing.
The Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program for the homeless pays state, local, and tribal governments with per diem payments to create and maintain temporary housing for veterans. These units are designed as temporary housing to help homeless veterans get back on their feet and find permanent housing.
The Extended Use Lease (EUL) program converts eligible buildings and land into temporary supportive housing for homeless veterans. EUL also works with local agencies and businesses to provide veterans with essential services such as health care and personal care.
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Finally, Veteran Family Support Services (SSVF) works to prevent home loss for veterans who are struggling to pay their rent or mortgage. SSVF can help veterans and their families find rehousing or affordable housing.
VA is committed to providing veterans with reliable and affordable access to care, whether routine, emergency or long-term. Eligible homeless veterans can take advantage of the VA's regular health care programs, but several additional programs are targeted exclusively at the homeless.
Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) works through a variety of VA medical centers to provide medical care and other services to help homeless veterans get back on their feet and find housing. Specifically, the program's case management services can connect homeless veterans with other community resources that support their unique circumstances.
The Homeless Patient Care Teams (HPACTs) program provides medical clinics designed to coordinate community resources and health care programs to meet the needs of homeless veterans. Health professionals and community workers work together to provide these services at HPACT clinics.
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Homeless veterans can also get the dental care they need through the Homeless Veterans Dental Program. The program coordinates with other homeless veteran health care programs to provide dental services that support the veteran's health and ability to find decent work and housing.
Veterans may face hard times that affect their income, making it impossible to keep up with mortgage payments. If someone falls behind on their mortgage payments, they are at risk of foreclosure and losing their home.
As part of Veterans Housing Assistance, VA helps bankrupt veterans avoid homelessness. VA loan officers work with veterans to find the best option to avoid foreclosure on their home. Some options include negotiating a more favorable payment plan, getting a special grace period, and deferring the foreclosure to do a private sale.
Some circumstances do not prevent foreclosure. In most cases, the veteran may be required to pay back any money owed as a result of the foreclosure.
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Homeless veterans may receive assistance from employment services designed to get them back to work in order to purchase appropriate housing. The program, known as Homeless Veterans Community Employment Services (HVCES), helps homeless veterans by providing job placement and vocational assistance.
The Compensated Occupational Therapy (CWT) program includes subprograms within VA medical centers. CWT offers clinical services to help veterans find employment, including the Transitional Work Program, which pays veterans a monthly stipend for casual work while they learn skills for permanent employment.
VA's Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program connects veterans with experienced workers who can help them start their own businesses, provide job training or re-enter the workforce before enlistment.
VA offers several programs that support the mental health of homeless veterans. A homeless veteran can start by calling the National Homeless Veterans Call Center at 1-877-424-3838 (1-877-4AID-VET), which can coordinate services based on the veteran's needs. possible The Veterans Crisis Line can be reached by phone at 1-800-273-8255 or online at VeteransCrisisLine.net if there is an emergency or if a veteran just needs to talk.
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Residential Mental Health Rehabilitation and Treatment Programs (MH RRTPs) began as the Residential Care for Homeless Veterans (DCHV) program. This program was established in the 1860s to provide housing for disabled soldiers. Today, the program provides housing and treatment services for veterans with mental health issues, including homeless veterans.
Other programs address mental health issues that affect homeless veterans, such as substance abuse, PTSD and depression. For
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