Every night, as many as 40,000 veterans are living on the streets. Each with a different story, they all shared a common pledge: to support and defend this country. Their service is done. Now, it’s the Elks’ turn to serve.
In partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Elks National Veterans Service Commission has pledged to help end veteran homelessness, and ensure that every veteran has the safe, stable home they deserve.
Most veterans move into their homes with nothing. Elks can help veterans establish their homes by building Welcome Home Kits. Generally, this kit would include some small furniture, kitchenware, and cleaning supplies. Items can be new or used, donated or purchased. The ENVSC will reimburse up to $300 per kit and up to $500 for each kit that includes a bed (dependent on corresponding receipts).
Watch how Cocoa Beach, Fla., Lodge No. 2387 makes a big impact on veterans through the Welcome Home Kit program:
Whether your Lodge wants to provide a few kits a year or a few kits a week, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few program guidelines to keep in mind.
Ready to get started?
The VA has asked the Elks to focus their efforts in and around the following 12 cities, which they’ve identified as the areas of highest need. The following two additional programs are available only in these 12 areas.
The Elks National Veterans Service Commission is offering additional grants to Lodges in the 12 target cities identified above. These grants of up to $10,000 will be available specifically to assist veterans who are homeless, or at risk of being so. Applications become available online April 1, 2022, and available until all grant funds are claimed. Here are the requirements:
The Elks Emergency Assistance Fund provides one-time financial assistance to veterans who would otherwise be at risk of homelessness. Veterans registered with and receiving services from the Department of Veterans Affairs in one of the 12 cities with the greatest number of homeless veterans can apply for one-time assistance with rent, security deposit, mortgage, or utilities. Veterans must be referred by a VA social worker.
For further information, contact the Elks National Veterans Service Commission office at Vets@elks.org, or at 773-755-4736. Or, visit www.va.gov/homeless/.
Questions? Email Vets@elks.org or call 773/755-4736.