Housing Our Veterans

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homeless veteransVERMONT- With approximately 49,200, just about everyone in Vermont is bound to know a veteran or two. But not many know a homeless veteran. Approximately 4,000 of the 49,200 don’t have a roof over their head to call a home.

 

It isn’t a problem that has gone unnoticed. The Veterans' Place in Northfield is one of a handful of places that help and house homeless veterans. The Veterans' Place can hold up to 26 veterans. These places work in partnership with Veterans Affairs to fill available space.

"We do it all," says case manager for The Veterans' Place, Karen Boyce, "Filling for Social Security benefits through the V.A., housing, buying a car, getting a job, going to school, managing money, doing volunteer work, reconnectiong with family-- there are endless pieces that we help with. Everyone is different so we work with everyone individually."

Due to the amount of effort put in on the case managers behalf at The Veterans' Place, not everyone can get a room.

"Most of our Veterans come through the V.A. system, we have an application that gets filled out, then we do an assessment interview to ask questions and make sure we are a good fit for them and they are a good fit for us. We can hold up to 26 Veterans here so we have to be sure that everyone will get along as best as we can," Boyce adds.

With the amount of aid that is given and the lack of availability, those most worthy get a spot.

"We are a substance free facility, and we do background checks." according to Boyce, "We cannot take Veterans with violent felony charges, who are on furlough, or are sex offenders. Everyone has to have had a physical and mental health evaluation done within 30 days of coming to the Veterans' Place."

Along with The Veterans' Place in Northfield, there are three other transitional housing programs available, Canal Street Veteran Housing in Winooski, The Dodge House in Rutland, and Veterans Inc. in Bradford.