One of the most common questions we hear is, “How is it that Veterans end up homeless, and in the chronic condition leading up to The Journey Home?” Though this is a reasonable question, the answer is layered in amongst very difficult and traumatic issues. Steve Croyle, our current Chairman of the Board of Directors, spoke to the Daily Advocate in January 2018 about this specific issue. “If you haven’t been a veteran, it is very difficult to appreciate and understand what these guys are going through.” Some of our Veterans came home feeling broken, having experienced traumatic and moral conflict not easily pushed aside. We love them, and patiently work with them through their recovery.
Mr. Croyle reminds us of the importance of our mission when he told The Daily Advocate, “The level of indoctrination and training that is thrown on people at an early age of their lives to focus on one mission, and once that time is up, they are cut loose to assimilate – some can do that and some can’t. That is where we step up and try to fill the void.”
What does The Journey Home do?
The Journey Home is a transitional home for homeless Veterans. We are the 1st step in ending homelessness for each veteran entering our doors; many of whom have experienced 12 months or more of chronic homelessness. Many of our residents are malnourished or struggle with Posttraumatic Stress or addiction; some have gone untreated or often non-diagnosed with chronic medical and/or mental illnesses. Clinical oversight of appropriate treatment referrals is critical in our programing, along with social work and case management support in linking Veterans to eligible treatment services.
We take our Mission Statement very seriously – To Make Veterans our Priority. To end Veteran Homelessness. To provide stability, support, and interventions so that chronic homeless Veterans attain housing and independence.
The Journey Home accomplishes this mission by focusing on the individual, and individualizing transitional services to meet the needs of each Veteran around 3 key areas of support:
- Obtaining permanent and independent housing
- Improving employment and increasing employment skills
- Support in navigating into appropriate and eligible VA and Non-VA Benefits.
Veterans entering our facility are limited to a 3 to 6-month timeline in accomplishing these goals. Every veteran’s journey into our facility is different; every veteran’s journey out of our facility is also different, and we pride ourselves in being a low threshold entry point out of homelessness. If you are homeless, and if you are a veteran, we will support you in your journey through your recovery. It is our hope that this is The Journey Home to ending a veteran’s homelessness.
How is The Journey Home different from a rehabilitation or treatment center?
- While rehabilitation or treatment centers tend to be aimed toward specialized treatment conditions, such as psychiatric care, addictions, eating disorders, etc., our referrals are specific to an individual being a homeless veteran.
- Rehabilitation and treatment centers have more restrictions regarding which type of patient is accepted based on psychiatric care needs, eating disorders, substance abuse, etc. In contrast, The Journey Home restricts referrals into our facility to homeless Veterans who express a desire to end their homelessness, who are without a permanent residences, and who are non-violent and a non-sex offender.
- Like rehabilitation and treatment centers, we too have specialized programing and staffed professionals. However, we focus more on supporting, educating, and training Veterans how to manage their steps to obtaining permanent housing, improved employment and increasing employment skills, and to clinically direct linking Veterans into appropriate and eligible VA and Non-VA Benefits.
- Refusal to participate in treatment and/or treatment programming and/or continual relapses will likely result in being removed from a rehabilitation and treatment center. Continual relapses will result in recommendations made and placement support into appropriate treatment programs. Refusal to observe house rules and participating in daily living activities of care and cleaning of the facility is the only issues that will result in a Veteran being removed from The Journey Home.
How does The Journey Home accomplish its mission?
- The Journey Home operates under a housing first concept, with our mission focused on helping each veteran find housing and gain independence over their lives, decisions, and behaviors. Included in a housing first concept is linking Veterans to treatment, employment, and other community resources.
- Our staff includes a qualified Clinical Director and three Social Workers who are experienced and trained in assessing treatment needs and supporting the transitional needs of homeless Veterans.
- In addition, 20%-25% of our operating costs are devoted to employing former homeless Veterans and current residents to provide veteran support in the house 24 hours a day, and to manage facility maintenance and other program operations. This is done to help rebuild their confidence, and give them purpose.
- We individualize transitional plans for each veteran using a defined evidence-based decision-making process that tailor each Individualized Recovery Plan (IRP) to the specific needs of the Veteran Resident.
- The Journey Home requires of all residents to complete housekeeping chores, cooking of their own meals, doing their own laundry and to participate in community actives and volunteer efforts.
- Our Board of Directors is expected to be active and participate in Board Initiatives of quality assurance, budget, strategic planning, fund development, and fundraising.