Serving those who served our country
After serving our country, each year tens of thousands of veterans face one more gruesome battle: homelessness. While only 8% of Americans have served in the military, veterans make up an astounding 20% of the homeless population. That number is expected to continue to grow. Launched in 2009 in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the New York City Department of Homeless Services, The Doe Fund Veterans Program's goal is to maximize each Veteran’s ability to live a productive and dignified life. We call it Operation Opportunity.
We serve 138 men each day at our Peter Jay Sharp Center for Opportunity. These men have histories of substance abuse (60%), criminal convictions (40%), and have been unemployed an average of nearly 6 years. Approximately 48% have significant mental health issues, including bipolar/mood disorders, depression, and PTSD. These men need intensive services to prepare them for the workforce and to connect them to the right services and benefits. Each Veteran follows one of two paths in our program: Ready, Willing & Able or Rapid ReHousing.
Ready, Willing & Able
With its emphasis on paid work, sobriety, and individual responsibility, Ready, Willing & Able is particularly well suited to Veterans. Over the course of 10 to 12 months, each man is empowered to achieve full-time employment, independent housing, and sobriety. Key components include:
• Transitional housing and three nutritious meals a day
• Counseling and benefits advocacy with the VA
• Transitional employment
• Occupational training
• Support services and life skills education
• Educational assistance
• Career development, job placement and graduate services
For Veterans who are unable to participate in Ready, Willing & Able, our Rapid ReHousing program provides personalized training, counseling, referrals to medical/psychiatric services, and linkages to community support networks, supportive housing, and employment that maximize independence and self-determination.
Since 2009, the program has served more than 500 veterans from various conflicts, including Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan. For more information, please contact Thomas Perry.