Today, we celebrate, appreciate, and honor ALL who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Unfortunately, too many Veterans struggle to adapt back into civilian life. Many find themselves overwhelmed with mental, health, and economic issues. Trying to rebuild your life while experiencing homelessness is unimaginable for most people. For those with additional challenges, such as PTSD and depression, it is even more difficult.
Last year, there were 184 Veterans served in our homelessness response system in Wake County. That is only 2% of the total number of people serviced in our homelessness response system. In Wake County, we have 1,080 individuals and families waiting for shelter and about 1,400 individuals and families who need housing. The average length of time between shelter entry and permanent housing is 111 days. That is too long.
CREATING SYSTEMIC CHANGE
The Partnership to End Homelessness is working to lessen the extensive wait times and gaps in services. Collaboration throughout the community is key. When a person becomes homeless in Wake County, they are not one agency’s client; they are everybody’s client.
The Access Hub
With one phone call, compassionate, trained professionals help connect individuals and families to all of the resources in our community, such as housing, mental health, and food insecurity programs. We’ve eliminated the need to call multiple providers to access shelter and services.
The By-Name List
This comprehensive list of every person in our community experiencing homelessness is an incredibly valuable tool. Up-to-date information including names, homeless history, health, and housing needs allows our service providers powerful insight into and an authentic picture of the person behind the name. Real-time information allows more effective collaboration between providers.
One Veteran’s Story
Tom (for confidentiality, not his real name) struggled for many years. Various service providers tried troubleshooting for this Veteran. Yet, he continued to struggle through the system. Life continually knocked him down forcing him in and out of the homeless system.
The Partnership facilitates monthly meetings for case managers to discuss veterans struggling to get out of homelessness with their own resources. During a recent meeting, case managers drilled deeply into all of Tom’s information. By collaborating and utilizing the By-Name List information, caseworkers were able to identify barriers and establish a better path for this veteran. As a result, Tom is no longer homeless.
“Our community has prioritized ending Veterans Homelessness. We are bringing the right resources, service providers, and housing options together to meet the unique needs of our struggling Veterans. Targeting services and funding streamlines our ability to identify barriers of our Veterans and create solutions to put them in safe, affordable homes.” Jasmin Volkel, Chief Operations Officer, Raleigh Wake Partnership to End Homelessness
With Veterans making up less than 2% of our total numbers served, we are close to ending Veterans Homelessness in our CoC. However, only 8% of Veterans in the homeless response system were successfully housed last year. Too many are falling through the cracks, highlighting the need for continued support, resources, and housing interventions.
The need in Wake County is greater than ever. No single entity can end homelessness, but together we can make a difference in our community. When you support the Partnership, you’re helping to plant the seeds that will bring about the systemic change required to solve the issue of homelessness.
Please consider making a donation today.