Volunteers of America
About Volunteers of America
Volunteers of America embodies President Lincoln’s promise to care for those “who shall have born the battle.” Currently, there are 18.2 million veterans in the United States according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. According to the 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, 37,878 veterans experience homelessness each evening. Ninety percent of those experiencing homelessness are men, with an increasing number of women with children now experiencing homelessness.
We proudly serve 27,000 veterans with support services and affordable housing annually, including over 10,000 homeless veterans. More than 50 percent of veterans who live in our transitional housing for six months achieve our target outcome of stable, adequate permanent housing, and half of those are still in permanent housing after 12 months.
Volunteers of America is committed to promoting the well-being of all veterans and their families, whether they are newly transitioning from military to civilian life or have long been returned but are struggling with homelessness, unemployment, mental health and substance use challenges, suicide risks, and the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and sexual trauma. Every veteran deserves dignity and respect.
Our services, from housing and employment support to mental health care, help veterans overcome the barriers that stand between them and long-term stability. Through prevention, rapid rehousing, interim housing, transitional housing, permanent housing, job training and compensated work programs, we make it possible for veterans to have a roof over their heads and the professional opportunities they deserve.
Our housing units provide case management services for veterans and families and many of our offices support outreach centers where veterans can receive treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries and addictions. We ensure veterans connect to the benefits they are entitled to, and we make use of the strong bonds forged between veterans by incorporating mentoring and peer-to-peer support.
We also provide employment services that include assessment, training and placement. Compensated work programs offer a stipend while training veterans for a new career, and help is available with everything from resume preparation to job interviewing, clothing and transportation. Finding work is an important part of building back confidence and pride and sustaining independence.
Volunteers of America’s moral injury repair initiatives have increased our capacity to serve veterans in crisis and at risk of suicide. Engaging staff who are veterans and who are certified mental health specialists (via certification as Veteran Peer Support Specialists, a recognized mental health specialty), our training programs offer critical skills to strengthen veterans against the challenges they face.
We provide transitional housing for homeless veterans and their families. Comprehensive support services include outreach and assessment, emergency services and case management.
We also offers Transitional Treatment Programs, providing residential therapeutic treatment for veterans recovering from substance use disorders; and special need services for the frail elderly and veterans with mental illness.
Our services for homeless veterans empower them to achieve lasting results. Based on our available outcome data, more than 50 percent of veterans who live in our transitional housing for six months achieve our target outcome of stable, adequate permanent housing and half of those are still in permanent housing after 12 months.
In fact, we serve more than 10,000 homeless veterans annually through housing and services, including:
- Transitional housing for veterans (grant and per diem programs)
- Homeless Veterans Re-Integration Programs (employment and training)
- Permanent supportive housing programs for homeless veterans
- Service centers
- Mobile Service Centers
- Transitional housing programs, licensed as alcohol and drug treatment centers
- Special needs grants for the chronically mentally ill and frail elderly
- Incarcerated Veterans Transitional Programs (employment)
Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program
Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) is a Federal program that awards money to both nonprofit organizations and government agencies who work to place homeless veterans in jobs. Volunteers of America currently operates HVRPs in the following areas:
- California: Los Angeles, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties
- Carolina: Wake, Johnston, Cumberland, Orange, Durham counties and other surrounding areas
- Florida: Brevard County, Broward County, Cocoa Beach, Jacksonville
- Illinois: Chicago
- Indiana: Indianapolis and Evansville
- Michigan: Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Jackson, Lansing, and Niles
- Montana: Helena
- Ohio: Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton
- Tennessee: Knoxville
- Texas: Houston and Dallas Fort Worth
- West Virginia: various rural areas
HVRP program sites ensure that veterans receive the employment and training services they need to get good jobs. All HVRPs offer job counseling, resume preparation, job placement, and follow-up at 30-, 90- and 180-day intervals. Program staff also ensure that participants receive essential supportive services such as clothing, shelter, referral to medical or substance use disorder treatments, and transportation assistance — either at the program site or at another agency in the community.
What makes HVRP sites so unique, though, is their ability use money flexibly to help program participants get and keep jobs. For example, if a client needs a uniform, a set of tools, or a state license in order to be hired for a job, the program can pay for them.
Supportive Services for Veteran Families
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program awards grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives who can provide supportive services to very low-income Veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing.
Grantees provide eligible Veteran families with outreach, case management, and assistance in obtaining VA and other benefits, which may include:
- Health care services
- Daily living services
- Personal financial planning services
- Transportation services
- Fiduciary and payee services
- Legal services
- Child care services
- Housing counseling services
For a complete list of all SSVF service providers, visit http://www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp.
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