A Way Home for Veterans
Home for Heroes, a small 501c3 not-for-profit agency, was seeking critically needed funds through DVNF’s Capacity Building Grant to significantly upgrade our professional and clinical services. We currently provide services to female and male veterans who are in need of transitional housing. We have provided this service for 4 years and have been successful in assisting about 50% of our veterans to secure permanent housing. These individuals also were assisted to find a job and develop necessary social and technical skills to keep both the job and their housing. Several of the female clients were also able to be reunited with their children who are now living with them.
We have recognized that a significant portion (about 90%) of our residents are in need of mental health and/or substance abuse services as well as education around community living and life skills.
The targets for use of the funds from DVNF were to increase in capacity in order to provide essential clinical assessment and treatment services for our veteran clients. Since receipt of the grant, the agency has experienced considerable growth in all intended targets of the grant. We have been able to direct the funds to the priority area of clinical assessment and treatment. The addition of the clinical staff has also freed up the administrative staff to focus on their required tasks.
It has been a tremendous [accomplishment] to have the clinical staff be able to spend time in the [veterans’] homes on a regular basis. This has proven to greatly raise the trust level of the clients. For example, one woman who experienced early child abuse, MST, and then domestic violence since leaving the service, is now willing to try the counseling services. Her trust in the clinical staff has been enhanced by their presence in the home and the positive outcomes she has seen in other clients.
One very nice impact of the counseling – both individual and group – has been that the residents are getting along better, being more cooperative with each other, sharing tasks, etc. This is especially true for the men’s program where some of the clients were not carrying their fair share of the load and were being a burden on others. The numbers of complaints and concerns voiced to administrative staff is greatly diminished.
One Veteran’s Testimonial
The program did everything that [Home for Heroes Director] Ms. Howard stated that it would when it came to living in the house. There was freedom. There wasn’t poking, prodding and pulling at you. Residents were allowed to discuss their experiences when they were ready. There wasn’t an invasion. There was motivation and nudging.