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HomeAid Focuses on Homeless Veterans
National charity helps out with Homes for Our Veterans Initiative
HomeAid has throughout its 28 year history built hundreds of housing projects and conducted community outreach for numerous charities helping those experiencing homelessness for reasons ranging from domestic abuse, natural disasters, medical or financial crises, or youth aging out of the foster care system. One group of these situationally homeless populations that is in particular need of help these days is veterans coming home from overseas.
Veterans face unique issues coming back from traumatic situations and being thrust back into civilian life, often without the support systems and skills necessary to do so successfully right away. That is why HomeAid has long done its best to build housing for homeless vets and on Memorial Day 2016, in memory of those veterans not so fortunate to make it home, we consolidated and escalated our efforts in this area with the Homes for Our Veterans (HOV) Initiative.
“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. “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’s HOV Initiative has four main components: shelter development for charities working with homeless vets, community outreach activities to support these charities, involvement in broader national and local events such as Operation Stand Down to help vets in need, and advocating for veterans’ causes through our network of 17 chapters across the country.
Key to HomeAid’s model is to engage the construction industry to build facilities where experienced service providers that assist those experiencing homelessness learn the skills necessary to become self-sufficient while living in comfortable, dignified surroundings. These charities offer programs that address basic needs such as financial literacy, job training, and counseling. The power of HomeAid’s operating model is the financial leverage it provides to our service providers in that half of the cost of our facilities has been donated by homebuilders, their trade contractors, and suppliers.
This program has been used successfully to help service providers exclusively helping veterans in 32 HomeAid projects to date, with more currently in development. These projects are valued at $7 million—over 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 6,000 vets.
Just this year, three new veterans projects have already been completed: HomeAid Southern Nevada completed a new kitchen for US Vets in Las Vegas, HomeAid Twin Cities dedicated a family home for homeless veterans in St. Paul for Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV), and HomeAid Atlanta renovated a group house for veterans in Southwest Atlanta.
HomeAid also participates in Community Outreach activities to support homeless veterans:
HomeAid Orange County was part of OC Stand Down the past couple years as the Housing and Shelter Unit Lead, reaching out to housing providers to assist homeless veterans access housing and services, and also worked with Bank of America to provide 500 personal hygiene CareKits for the veterans that attended the Stand Down.
In the Bay Area, HomeAid Northern California has partnered with Sentinels of Freedom on various projects for veterans including the creation of a Veterans Success Corner at College of Alameda.
HomeAid has received several grants specifically geared towards its Homes for Our Veterans initiative, including grants from Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Masco Corporation Foundation, and the Home Depot Foundation. With the help of HomeAid and its building industry partners, homeless veterans can be given a second chance to reclaim their self-sufficiency, and with it, dignified and productive lives. We owe that to them for their sacrifices for our country.
To get involved in this effort or learn more about this initiative, visit www.homeaid.org.