VETHELP has operated a very successful program to assist homeless veterans since 1988 and is located in Ballston Spa, NY. VETHELP serves veterans in seven counties: Saratoga, Washington, Warren, Schenectady, Montgomery, Fulton and Hamilton.
Hardships, often compounded by a loss of family and social support networks, make the issue of homelessness a difficult social challenge. Our belief in veterans helping veterans through shared experiences and in considering the whole individual – mentally, physically and spiritually – is why our program is successful in empowering homeless veterans to embrace and maintain independent living and self-sufficiency.
VETHELP is a program whose mission is to serve the needs of homeless military veterans by empowering them to embrace and maintain independent living and self-sufficiency. This is affectively accomplished by helping veterans secure temporary and permanent housing, viable employment and access to health care. Assistance in addressing other life issues is provided as well.
VETHELP operates two facilities that provide transitional housing for 11 females and 12 males. The housing provides residents with a comfortable living environment to address the complex factors effecting their homelessness. Job loss, alcoholism, substance abuse, lack of access to health care, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), military sexual trauma, and other hardships are struggles that these veterans have encountered following their release from the military.
VETHELP also provides access to essential resources. These Legal, Educational, Financial, and Medical/Mental Health concerns. We also provide counseling to the veterans on budget issues, relationship building/repairing, and independent life after they successfully graduate from our program. Residents progress through this program with increasing independence while providing community service to other veterans and local service organizations.
The VETHELP team prepares each homeless veteran for the reintegration program. Each veteran is given a thorough assessment and evaluation. Through partnering with the Veteran’s Administration residents receive individual counseling and on-site assistance to deal with PTSD, substance abuse, emotional and family problems. Trained case managers and VA social workers are on site to assist all veterans with their issues and start to develop short and long-term goals to attain self-sufficiency.
We provide assistance to find educational and job training services. Resident veterans become productive members of the community through job skills development and general employment through partnerships with local businesses. Through community service veterans regain their hope to return to employment.
Transitional Housing provides clients with a more comfortable living environment. Clients must either be working, enrolled in a training or educational program and/or in a treatment program to enter this component. This program rewards clients for the work they have done and prepares them for the transition to self-sufficiency.
Vethelp was awarded the Supportive Services for Veteran Families grant in in 2013 and has recently been renewed for a 2nd year. The program focuses on the housing first model and serves veteran families who are imminently at risk or are homeless. The program focuses on housing first and then wrapping supprotive services around the veteran families in order to maintain housing stability.
An invaluable resource utilized by VET HELP staff to encourage employers to hire veterans was made available thru the Vow to Hires Heroes ACT of 2011. This act, signed into law by President Obama, established some significant benefits for employers to hire veterans. The detailed provisions of this Act can be reviewed at www. doleta.gov.