There is a new face for Veterans in today’s day and age. Every ethnicity, gender, age, culture, and background is represented in those who have served our country. Because of this diversity, it has become harder to meet the needs of all returning warriors past and present. Post traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, joblessness, traumatic brain injury, homelessness, family dysfunction, relational problems, and depression are few of the many issues that Veterans face today. WestCare understands the importance of giving back to those who have already given so much and is working across the country to provide services that address these needs and more.
According to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, an estimated 144,842 Veterans spent at least one night in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program in the recent year. No matter what the circumstances, no one who has served their country should ever find themselves living in the streets. To combat this statistic, WestCare has transitional living programs for both male and female veterans. Veteran’s Plaza, a 28-bed facility for male Veterans, offers housing for up to two years and case management services for each resident. Likewise, HomeFront provides housing for female Veterans and their children, ensuring stability for families in need. For immediate assistance, WestCare provides and works with shelters that link the clients to various services after their stay. Examples of programs such as these include: Georgia’s Blanket Atlanta and Turning Point in Florida.
Families serve alongside the military member in a supportive and equally important role. Admiral Michael Mullen told service members, “You couldn’t be here, deploy and rest easy if things weren’t going well at home and for the support that your families have given.” Spouses of Veterans have faced and overcome many obstacles while their husband or wife was in the service. They were the single caretaker and support system for the family, all while worrying for the safety of their spouse. Children of Veterans lived much of their life with only one parent present, understanding that their mom or dad was away protecting this country’s freedom. WestCare honors the families of those who have served and seeks to provide them supportive services to help them in times of need. The FAVA program (Family Alliance for Veterans of America) provides information, education, advocacy and support to families of Veterans and Veterans across America at a time of their critical need. On a more local level, WestCare offers programs that provide case management to veterans in efforts to connect them with services they need to help both them and their families. An example of a program such as this includes California’s San Joaquin Valley Veterans.
No one understands Veterans like another of a similar soul. WestCare is proud to host forty full-time AmeriCorps members who serve Veterans and their families both onsite and in the community. Most being Veterans themselves, these hardworking individuals have perspectives and skill sets they use to provide Veterans with recovery support services, skill-building, screenings and assessments, etc.