Homelessness is a huge problem around the world, and the United States is no exception. Sadly, many American cities are full of people that don’t have access to basic necessities such as shelter, a warm bed, or food.
Worse yet: a large portion of these individuals are military veterans. Luckily, some very good — and very creative — people are willing to help, and one of their most recent efforts is pure genius!
The United States’ homelessness epidemic is a serious problem however you look at it, but one of the greatest tragedies is that veterans — many suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder — comprise a large part of it. Thankfully, communities are banding together to help.
For example, an old abandoned school in Philadelphia was just converted into a home for 12 homeless veterans. The space will also accommodate 37 homes for seniors.
The school had been abandoned for more than four decades, but a partnership between the Philadelphia Housing Authority and the organization HELP USA changed that. “It would have been far too expensive and a shame to tear it down,” said HELP USA’s David Cleghorn of the school. “We haven’t gotten any pushback or a single negative comment on this project. The building has been an eyesore for a while and a safety issue that needed to be addressed. People are excited about it.”
So far, an impressive 56 million dollars has been raised by HELP USA to support city projects. This isn’t the first time that it’s helped homeless veterans; past projects have included the Hardy Williams Veterans Center and the Robert A. Brady Townhome community.
“All of these projects are immensely successful,” said Cleghorn. “Once these vets are in our apartments, they have support services right there on site. What keeps them there is that they really form a community of shared military experience. They look out for one another. They’re happy and proud of where they live, and that makes us happy and proud.”
“Some are for seniors 55 and up and others are for veterans, many of them formerly homeless and recovering from substance abuse, others with mental health conditions or disabilities,” continued Cleghorn. “We try to fill needs when there’s a need. We’ve built houses for people with HIV, victims of domestic violence and communities that live with mental health conditions. It’s a no-brainer for veterans. They’ve made sacrifices for us and they deserve to have a place to live. It’s the right thing to do.”
“Healthcare, counseling, employment and youth mentorship programs” are just a few of the efforts that HELP USA is putting forth for homeless veterans beyond housing. Their aim is to complete the project by the first half of 2017.
It’s not going to be easy to alleviate the homelessness situation, but efforts like this certainly help. Hopefully, HELP USA will be able to continue and expand their special work for years to come!
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Source : boredomtherapy.com