The men and women that serve in the military have a long tradition of defending our country without consideration about the cost to themselves, yet far too often, when our service men and women return home, they require but rarely receive, support and mentoring to transition from military to a productive civilian home life and gainful career path.
Having been trained as people that helps others, they are reluctant to reach out or express their own needs for fear of appearing incapable or weak to their family, friends, or fellow soldiers. As a result, an alarming rate of homeless veterans are living on the streets, resorting to panhandling and seeking the charity of a quarter here, or a dollar there.
1 in 5homeless are veterans, some are homeless by circumstance while others are homeless by matter of choice where they feel there is no other choice. Sadly, we have veterans that have lost everything upon returning from active duty and/or war simply because they were not mentored or counseled on how to be a civilian again. Tragically upwards of 22 veterans take their own life EVERY SINGLE DAY, because they lost hope and feel broken inside.
The statistics are eye opening, did you know that 91% of homeless veterans are male, 98% of those are single, 76% live in a large metropolitan city, and 54% have a mental and/or physical disability? Are you aware that Black veterans are substantially over-represented among homeless veterans, comprising 39% of the total homeless veteran population, while making up only 11% of the total veteran population?
WGY6 understands that most veterans desire a normal life just like you and me. The unfortunate reality is that in the absence of having access to resources and homeless shelters without adequate staff or professionally trained personnel to offer much more than some food, shelter, and clothing, not much else is being accomplished. Some shelters will have a job board where veterans can pursue a job opportunity, but without the skills or resources to create and print a resume, they are less likely to move forward and apply. Many veterans have never held a job outside of their Military career and don’t have any idea on how to dress or prepare for an interview.
The Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program and HUD-VASH are good programs, and the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program under the Department of Labor assist homeless veterans with employment skills and job searches. Keep in mind that even with the existence of these agencies and programs, many simply do not know about these resources and fewer know HOW to gain access to them. There are more people that need these resources than there are people to guide them on the right path.
The WGY6 program is unique in that one of the founding members was once a homeless veteran. Executive Director, David Jordan lived in a shelter with 90 other veterans, he listened to story after story about how our systems have failed. David’s very real-life knowledge and first-hand experience of the situations and struggles that a homeless veteran face when attempting to rebuild their lives have afforded him the passion to do something to change this.
It is his privilege and calling that compelled him to develop these programs and processes to work with and alongside homeless veterans as they embark on a journey that can very well impact their lives for the better forever.
Our program is designed to bring the homeless veteran out of a shelter, provide them an opportunity to acclimate to civilian living and EMPOWER them with tools for success so that they can get off the streets and hopefully stay off the streets. Financial management and budgeting, resume building and job interview classes, assistance with procuring jobs, job skills training and obtaining affordable housing within a budget developed with a financial advisor are just some of the ways that WGY6 assists homeless veterans.
We of course, cannot do any of this without the support from you and our greater communities. We invite you and welcome you to take this journey with us. Let’s do this!
We Got Your Six (“WGY6”) doesn’t dwell on how or why a veteran became homeless, our mission is to provide short term assistance with the goal for long term success to those that wish to change their lives for the better. It’s never easy to ask for direction and support, especially when one isn’t even sure of where to ask for such. WGY6 is here for those veterans willing and committed to helping us help them.
PODCAST 11/28/17, FAST FORWARD TO 58:30 FOR OUR SEGMENT
We dont care how or why they ended up homeless. If they want to change their lives for the better and get off the streets. We Got Your Six will help those willing to help themselves.
We Got Your Six is a public charity recognized by the IRS #47-4793766
ongoing fundraiser with Honda/Toyota