Our soldiers sacrificed it all while serving to protect our nation’s freedom. Sadly, men and women who proudly served our country in the military returned to find themselves without a home or are vulnerable to losing the home they had. Unfortunately, our country has turned a deaf ear to their cry for help.
The desire to help homeless veterans is well recognized, but solutions for permanent veteran housing are not. Veterans who navigate the Veterans Administration (VA) system can recover from homelessness but need our assistance.
Funding for emergency and transitional housing is available, but a crisis for permanent housing exists.
- Emergency housing gets veterans immediate assistance.
- A minimal accommodations group setting
- Waiting to establish veteran’s access to VA benefit entitlements
- A dedicated caseworker manages veteran services
- Transitional housing prepares vets to live independently
- Utilize the skills and knowledge attained through the VA
- Caseworker remains involved
- Permanent housing is independent living long term
- Caseworker remains involved
- Issues with the available permanent structures
- High rental prices
- Vouchers do not cover the rental shortfall
- Lack of suitable housing
- Often, the vet is placed in the only accommodation available that is neither safe nor appropriate to sustain the progress already achieved.
- Without a permanent housing solution, homelessness is likely.
On the battlefield, servicemembers never left another behind. We cannot leave our veterans behind in this desperate housing crisis.
VAlanthropy (philanthropy for Veterans), with resources from the VA, local housing authority, and the generous help of our donor partners, businesses, and foundations, will work to help relieve some veteran homelessness by increasing the inventory of permanent veteran housing. We will purchase, develop, construct, manage and own stable, safe, affordable homes and apartment communities in which veterans will be proud to live.
Our first efforts are in Columbia, SC, where two of our directors live. Columbia is home to 140,000 people; according to the Mayor, over 500 are homeless veterans. HUD-VASH vouchers that subsidize most of the rent for permanent housing have been issued to qualified veterans without a place to accept them. Tonight, in Columbia, SC, these veterans will sleep in places unacceptable for human habitation, such as cars, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings, and literally on the streets.
Phase one is underway. Our directors, who receive no compensation, purchased our first two-bedroom, 2 ½ bath home near the Dorn VA Medical Center. In February, a female veteran with two children will occupy the first of what we hope will be many more such homes. Our phase one goal is to continue to buy or build 1–3-bedroom homes.
Phase two, we’ll build 12-unit upscale, veteran-only apartment-style buildings as funding allows.
Phase three expands our program to other locations based on the need in those areas with high homeless veteran populations.
VAlanthropy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that does not pay state or federal taxes, 100% of donations are used to fund the program and are tax-exempt. Therefore, we can provide a safe, permanent, stable environment and keep rents low.
Thank you to our Advisors for their incredible help and support!