By: Vincent J. Perrone, President & CEO, Veterans Inc.
Note: This post is part of a weeklong celebration of U.S. military veterans. You can find more stories and resources at the Microsoft Citizenship website.
When Veterans Inc. opened its doors to nine homeless veterans in 1992 it was a small, grass-roots, all-volunteer organization offering cots in an abandoned National Guard Armory. Since then it has grown into a professional, comprehensive organization, recognized nation-wide for the success of its innovative programs. Veterans Inc. has helped more than 40,000 veterans and their families to overcome homelessness, to create hope, and to live lives of dignity they so richly deserve. In the words of Chung Tran, a current Veterans Inc. resident,
“This program makes us feel like we’re a part of society again. After being a vet who was injured I didn’t feel I belonged anywhere. When I stepped through the door I felt welcomed and began to feel a sense of my self worth. Without the help I received I would not be trying to go back to school or moving on with my life - I am truly grateful.”
Veterans Inc. has created a nationally recognized clinical model for preventing and ending homelessness among veterans that uses a mix of programs and services such as: Case Management, Emergency Shelter, Supportive Housing, Employment and Training, Health & Wellness, and targeted Outreach programs. Services affirm each individual’s dignity, uncover his or her inner strengths, and promote self-determination and independence. Says Tran,
Photo courtesy of Worcester Magazine, Steven King photographer
“It’s hard to find a program where people are truly concerned about veterans. A lot of people pay lip-service to veterans. Veterans Inc. is really in there and helping and they truly appreciate what veterans have done.”
With troops now coming home from Iraq, Veterans Inc. is poised to provide services for soldiers who return to New England with PTSD and other combat-related problems, few resources, and fragile social networks that leave them nowhere else to turn.
Access to employment and training opportunities is critical to preventing homelessness. Veterans Inc. is committed to creating security for soldiers and their families as they return to civilian jobs, especially at this time of record unemployment. Responding to the emerging needs of veterans is what Veterans Inc. is all about. The Microsoft Elevate America Veterans Initiative will allow Veterans Inc. to reach out to soldiers we have not been able to help before: veterans of the National Guard, Reservists, and their spouses. We are thrilled to collaborate with Microsoft to make this happen.
Find out more about Veterans Inc at their website.
Vincent J. Perrone, President & CEO, Veterans Inc.
More veterans resources: