Introducing Welcome Home, a community for veterans

By Christine Yearwood, Staff
Posted 11/20/19

Welcome Home, a 501(c)3 based out of Columbia, Mo., wants to inform the community of services they offer to area at-risk and homeless veterans.

Over one-third of the homeless population in the …

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Introducing Welcome Home, a community for veterans

Posted

Welcome Home, a 501(c)3 based out of Columbia, Mo., wants to inform the community of services they offer to area at-risk and homeless veterans.

Over one-third of the homeless population in the U.S. are veterans, with more than 600 homeless veterans in the state of Missouri. And, over half of America’s homeless veterans are suffering from mental or physical disabilities.

Founded in 1992 by five Vietnam veterans who mortgaged their houses to purchase an old medical building, Welcome Home has a vision to end veteran homelessness.

In 2017, the organization moved into a 32-room facility, with 34 beds — including a separate corridor for females — designed to help veterans “escape the hardship of homelessness,” according to their website.

In addition to the transitional housing services they offer, which feature flexible space for families, Welcome Home assists with rapid re-housing, VETS work and other resources for veterans.

The objective of the rapid re-housing program is for homeless veterans to obtain appropriate and affordable housing within 90 days of entry. The program includes intensive case management, financial planning, connection to HUD and VA benefits and services, housing identification and matching, direct financial assistance and supportive services which could include transportation assistance, landlord-tenant mediation and budgeting.

Although the program has a 90-day goal, veterans can receive assistance for longer, if needed.

The VETS work program provides job readiness training, a strong support network with area employers, training opportunities and job placement assistance.

Other resources available include counselors, advocates and partnerships with the Truman VA, Phoenix Programs, the Missouri Housing Development and housing authorities, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Veterans United Foundation, the United Way, American Legion, Elks, VFW, Lions Club and more.

To receive assistance, the veteran, a family member or concerned citizen can call 573-443-8001, extension 101 or 104, and take the pre-screening assessment.

So long as the veteran has not been dishonorably discharged, has a need for the services and their income does not exceed 50 percent of the area’s median income, they qualify for services.

Welcome Home provides assistance to veterans and their families in 20 counties in Missouri, including Adair, Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Cooper, Gasconade, Howard, Macon, Maries, Moniteau, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Osage, Pettis, Phelps, Pulaski, Randolph and Saline.

Volunteers are needed for this program, as well as donations. Donations are tax-deductible. To get involved, visit www.welcomeveterans.org.

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