Before Seeking Help, Homeless Veterans Need a Plan
Our friends at the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans have developed a great plan for those seeking assistance in getting off the streets. In essence, they are encouraging individuals to think through exactly what services they need before picking up the phone or clicking a mouse to get help.
For instance, the Coalition suggests homeless veterans need to first ask themselves:
Do I need medical, substance abuse or mental health care? Am I ready to work or do I need to learn a job skill? Do I have legal issues that need to be resolved? Do I need to reapply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or VA benefit checks?
Once those questions are answered, the Coalition encourages veterans to make a list of their most basic needs. This will serve as a tool to help them get organized and figure out where to look for the kind of help that they need most.
According to the Coalition, here’s a sample list of what these needs could be:
- I need a place to live today.
- I need a job.
- I need clothing to wear to work.
- I want to get counseling for PTSD.
- I owe child support.
- I need to find out what federal benefits I can get as a veteran.
These are just the first of many steps the Coalition provides in assisting homeless veterans in getting back on track. Go through its website and follow the easy-to-understand, step-by-step process. Click here to see its website.
Getting off the streets is obviously not an easy process for many veterans. But there are many great people and organizations across our nation dedicated to helping veterans take small steps until they are ready to become productive citizens once again.
I encourage veterans in need of assistance to follow the Coalition’s process of getting off the streets. Thousands of once homeless veterans have done that, and I hope thousands more will do the same.
Richard VanHouten is the founder and CEO of Veterans Support Organization.