The Issue: High Population of Veterans Who Are Homeless
Though veterans represent about 8% of the general population, they make up nearly 20% of the homeless population, according to data from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. There were an estimated 1,350 veterans experiencing homelessness in Clark County in January 2011, as detailed in the 2011 Southern Nevada Homeless Census and Survey.
The Campaign: Providing Bed Linens to Veterans
If 24 people donate $9 to this Grassroots campaign, then U.S.VETS – Las Vegas can provide linens, a comforter, and a pillow to 12 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each additional $18 raised will provide linens, a comforter, and a pillow for another veteran at the residence. The bedding goes to veterans who live in U.S.VETS’ housing programs after experiencing homelessness. Basic necessities—including linens and a pillow—help create a sense of home for the veteran residents.
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U.S.VETS – Las Vegas
When the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center polled its inpatients in the early 1990s, it discovered that 25% of the treated veterans had no place to go when they were discharged. A veteran of the Marines, Judge Harry Pregerson formed U.S.VETS to address the lack of housing available for veterans who are homeless. Today, U.S.VETS – Las Vegas operates housing programs such as residential back-to-work program and finding permanent and affordable housing for veterans.
At any one time, U.S.VETS – Las Vegas houses about 260 veterans its two facilities and works with them to find permanent employment and achieve self-sufficiency. Each veteran receives intensive case management, health services, transportation, and life-skills development to help them gain a strong footing in civilian life. They learn about budgeting, healthy relationships, and resumé building while living among their peers, helping out in facility tasks, and receiving daily living essentials. U.S.VETS – Las Vegas helped 140 veterans return to full-time work in 2011.