With all the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping veterans move into safe and stable housing is needed more urgently than ever.
Portsmouth, N.H., Lodge No. 97 has adapted to continue providing Welcome Home Kits of essential supplies to newly housed veterans, all while "working from home."
When they receive a referral from project partners like Easter Seals or HUD-VASH, Portsmouth Elks ask for the veteran’s contact information. Then, they can follow up over the phone to connect with the veteran directly. This allows them to personalize the kit to meet the veteran’s specific needs, like queen-size bedding, or a desk to help student veterans study. Elks purchase the household items online and have everything delivered directly to the veteran’s new home to avoid social distancing challenges.
Working with Navy veteran Keith to set up his new home, Portsmouth Elks found out that Keith’s apartment doesn’t accept deliveries. But, he can receive deliveries at a UPS box. Portsmouth Elks asked Keith if the UPS box could accept large deliveries, like a microwave or vacuum cleaner.
Keith didn’t know how to respond. After a pause, he said “yes” and apologized for his moment of speechlessness. “I’m sorry, I’m just so blown away that I am getting all of this brand-new stuff that I really need,” Keith told them. “I don’t have anything, so this is such a great surprise!”
Your Lodge can make a difference for veterans like Keith, too! You can learn more at www.elks.org/vets/welcomehome, or by reaching out to our office at 773-755-4736 or email@example.com.