Veterans News

Battling Veteran Homelessness

A father with a heart condition is anxious to move his family to a safe, smoke-free home. A man worries he will be evicted from his apartment while receiving inpatient mental health treatment. After learning that her abuser is scheduled to be released from prison, a mom moves her children out of state on short notice.

If you’re wondering what these people have in common, the answer is simple. All three are veterans, and all three turned to the Elks in their time of need. The ENVSC’s Emergency Assistance Fund was created to help veterans prevent and exit homelessness. In 2015, in partnership with the VA, we pledged to help eradicate veteran homelessness. The Emergency Assistance Fund is one way we are making good on that promise.

Last year, the Emergency Assistance Fund helped over 400 veterans with essential housing expenses such as security deposits, rent and utilities. For most of those veterans, Elks assistance was the only thing standing between them and homelessness.

Many people, including veterans, are one emergency away from the threat of eviction: a job loss, an illness, a death in the family. Working at the ENVSC, we see firsthand the pivotal role of timely financial support in shaping a veteran’s future. Even a seemingly small amount of money can keep a veteran stay safely housed in the long-term.

At right, Elks from El Paso, Tex., Lodge No. 187 take a veteran shopping for supplies for his new home.

Our Emergency Assistance Fund gives veterans the support they need and deserve to rebuild after homelessness or a financial emergency. And the fund does something else, too: it shows veterans that they are not alone.

“You have given me a renewed hope for humanity,” says a Miami veteran whom we assisted with rental arrears. “Sometimes it’s not easy to reach out for help. No one likes to be turned down. On behalf of all the veterans and service men and women you have given so many reasons to look forward to the future, I am eternally grateful.”

When a military member’s service to our country ends, we say they are “coming home.” But the truth is, far too many veterans have no place to call home. We dream of a future when that number is zero, but until then, we soldier on.

Click here to read more about how the ENVSC is fighting veteran homelessness!


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