Over the last 10 years, veteran homelessness has trended downward, but it remains a significant problem.
While veterans make up about 6 percent of the population, they make up about 8 percent of homeless adults. Last year, estimates from the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that on any given night in January 2020, more than 37,000 veterans were without a home, many without any kind of shelter at all. The full impact of COVID-19 on those numbers isn’t known yet.
For many in this situation, homelessness is a symptom of larger problems. Any combination of issues, including mental illness, unemployment, family difficulties, legal trouble, or financial hardship, can lead to a veteran sleeping on the streets. These issues are high barriers that many just don’t have the resources or guidance to take down on their own.
Enter Veterans Life Center.
Staff at Veterans Life Center in Butner, North Carolina, know that the solution to veteran homelessness, unemployment, mental health struggles, or any other challenge veterans face isn’t going to come from the top. Veterans Life Center sees previous attempts from the government and nonprofits as suffering from “silo syndrome” that “treat symptoms rather than the disease.”
After watching failing ideas and seeing a need, veteran and Veterans Life Center founder John Turner wanted to try a different approach, one that works through the symptoms while attacking the root causes.
Veterans Life Center provides a residential program, free of charge, that helps veterans overcome what is holding them back by taking care of the biggest hurdles, specifically giving them a place to live.
Once veterans are housed at Veterans Life Center, staff starts a coordinated care program that tackles a range of issues – mental and behavioral health, financial and legal troubles, family problems, unemployment – and starts working with the veterans to remove the barriers that stand in the way of progress in all those areas.
The mission at Veterans Life Center is to get the big barriers out of the way and get the veteran residents in a good position to live successful, meaningful lives.
Through an integrated approach to care and wellness, Veterans Life Center is improving the lives of veterans through an emphasis on self-reliance and giving them the opportunity to become better versions of themselves.
Veterans Life Center believes veterans have the strength to rise above their circumstances, and we do too! Learn more about #BelieveInVeterans