Nearly 50,000 veterans are homeless on any given night, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Veterans face a unique set of challenges when returning from war and other traumatic situations. Unfortunately, veterans often end up situationally homeless if they return without a support system or the skills necessary to jump back in to civilian life.
As this Memorial Day approaches, HomeAid, a leading national charity that provides housing for the homeless, announces the launch of its Homes for Our Veterans (HOV) Initiative.
The initiative will aid to develop shelters for charities working with homeless vets and create community outreach activities to support these charities, become involved in broader national and local events such as Operation Stand Down to help vets in need, and will advocate for veterans' causes through HomeAid’s network of 17 chapters across the country.
"Our veterans have endured conditions and made sacrifices for the rest of us that we can never adequately thank them for," said Peter Simons, CEO of HomeAid America in a news release on Thursday. "But one thing we absolutely cannot do is ignore their basic needs—housing being one of the biggest—when they return to civilian life. No veteran in this country should be without a roof over his or her head."
HomeAid already assists homeless veterans as part of their overall service, and so will model their HOV Initiative after their successful program that engages the construction industry to build facilities where those experiencing homelessness learn the skills necessary to become self-sufficient, primarily financial literacy, job training, and counseling, while living in comfortable, dignified surroundings.
Half the cost of the facilities are donated by homebuilders, their trade contractors, and suppliers in order to allocate more funds towards the service providers helping those in need within the programs.
“This program has been used successfully to help service providers exclusively helping veterans in 30 HomeAid projects to date, with more currently in development. These projects are valued at over $7 million—half of which has donated in-kind by HomeAid's builders and their trade partners—and have created 350 new beds for that have already served over 4,700 vets,” said the release.