Community leaders and residents of Randolph County, Indiana, came together in early 2013 to address the urgent need of Veterans who desire suicide, who are homeless, or who are lost and feeling hopeless. With passion and love for our American Veterans, a long-time resident of Randolph County, Linda DeHaven led the charge to develop awareness that there is something the County could do to help Veterans. She reached out to the Veteran Services Officer, Michael Kennedy, and other community leaders for assistance. With her leadership, the concept of a Veterans Shelter was created and the Randolph County Veterans Shelter, Inc., 501(c)(3) was established with a Board of Directors. As a former youth residential center, with four spacious rooms, fully equipped kitchen, a large dining area, a laundry room, offices and a day room, the facility was empty and being used for storage. Owned by Randolph County, the County Commissioners were approached about using the facility as a shelter and residential center for Homeless Veterans. Doing business as The Journey Home (TJH), and drawing solely on private donations and private referrals, the doors were opened to our first Veteran in March of 2014. Our early mission was to provide a safe shelter to the homeless Veteran and to put them on the path of addiction recovery free of charge.
Our mission blossomed early in 2015. At a low point, and when we thought our doors would have to close, the then Mayor of Winchester, Indiana, Steve Croyle rallied more community leaders with resources and leadership to refocus the concept, mission and vision of TJH. Because of that leadership, in October 2015 we entered a relationship with the VA and a bed per diem contract with VA Northern Indiana Health Care Systems. This partnership has offered us a networking relationship that links our two homeless services together and program access to a broader population of homeless Veterans. It also allowed the VA to offer TJH a two (2) year bed per diem start up contract. With the VA’s added awareness of homelessness, Veteran homelessness and Veteran issues, TJH focused our mission and service programs solely on ending Veterans homelessness. As a “housing first” transitional service, TJH has five (5) key performances that indicate success; 1) finding and getting the Veterans off the streets out of homeless camps or from living under bridges, 2) transitions homeless Veterans into permanent housing, 3) develop or improving employment opportunities, 4) engage the Veteran into VA, State and local Non-VA resources and benefits, and 5) to provide these services to our Veterans free of charge. TJH is the first step in ending homelessness for every Veteran walking into our doors. There are many other steps needed after TJH to permanently end their homelessness and to secure their independence. The Randolph County Veterans Shelter, Inc. is committed to being there for homeless Veterans every step of the way with more programs and additional supports to address those other steps.
Over the last four years, Randolph County Veterans Shelter, Inc. has proven its effectiveness in ending Veteran homelessness. Our mission makes a difference. Doing business as TJH, our residential transitional center is staffed with Social Workers, Veteran Support staff and other professionals positioned to assist the Veteran. The future looks bright for homeless Veterans, as we now can move forward to develop other programs and more services to broaden our support of homeless Veterans and address the additional steps for those in need. On September 18, 2017, we signed a larger five (5) year sustainable bed per diem contract with the VA Northern Indiana Health Care Systems to fund our TJH 15-bed transitional residential facility.
Randolph County Veterans Shelter, Inc. is much more than TJH, a transitional home for Homeless Veterans. It offers communities the opportunity to take care of our American Heroes, and communities step up in very big ways. We reside in a rural community, where friendships are made over a cup of coffee or while sharing a piece of pie. Over 90% of our groceries and food items are donated by individuals, families and businesses who donate monthly. Most of our Veterans enter the home with nothing but the clothes on their back, but will leave The Journey Home with multiple boxes of sustainable clothing and personal items from local and community donors. Your support, passion and love of our Veterans makes TJH a powerful resource to homeless Veterans, and in the fight to end Veteran homelessness.
What you can do to help
Our appeal is simple; learn all you can about homelessness and Veteran homelessness. Everyone needs three (3) things to thrive; healthy interactions, healthy connections and healthy relationships. If you can, stop by and say hello. Get to know our Veterans, and helps us connect them to those healthy relationships that will make the difference.
Follow us on social media, connect TJH to individuals, businesses, foundations and organizations that can help in our mission, and donate.
Donate your time, finances, food, clothes and other household items. We need your financial help to keep our programing going and to expand our transitional services in the fight to end Veteran homeless.
TJH recognizes that recovery is a long process, with many challenges and stumbles along the way. These men have earned our support and help as they work through their recovery. We trusted them as they defended our freedoms. They walked into the line of fire willingly and paid the ultimate price. We now can stand them in their fight for recovery.
Your contribution is tax deductible! Please consider giving now for this much-needed facility.
Vision and Values
Our Veterans’ walk into our doors with a disabling sense of hopelessness and a loss of personal dignity. Many are underweight, and have not engaged in health services consistently enough for sustainable health or employment. Others experience a chronic disability, illness, post-traumatic stress, or addiction contributing to homelessness. Almost all have been homeless for multiple years.
- Safety – in person, community and housing
- Compassion and Empathy – to honor and respect individuals
- Positive Support and Connections – accountability
- Independence – in personal choice, in the community, and in housing
- Financial Stability – healthy strategies