There are between 78,000-83,000 veterans in Wayne County alone. That’s the largest amount of veterans in the entire state of Michigan.
Veteran homeless rates are high. The homeless population has almost twice as many veterans within it as the general population does. This hits marginalized groups disproportionally harder, with roughly 45% of the homeless veteran population being Black or Hispanic, according to The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, even though those groups only make up a combined 13.4% of the veteran population.
We want to help. That’s why we are working in conjunction with Wayne County Veterans Affairs for our newest project: Operation Homebound.
This new project is built to provide both immediate and long-term shelter relief for veterans. Our aim is not to simply give them a place to live but to provide these heroes with the aid and support that they need to be self-sustaining and have a full and safe life for both them and their families.
How We Help
The first step of Operation Homebound is to get homeless veterans off of the street. We recognize that any long-term help we try to give will be futile if it isn’t matched with a short-term solution. That’s why we offer six weeks of temporary housing. Wayne County Veteran’s Affairs has funded our renovation of three buildings that will serve as the location for this temporary housing.
While staying with us in temporary housing, we can focus on working on long-term solutions. On top of providing three meals a day, we also provide mental health resources, counseling, and job training. We also walk with them through their options for long-term housing solutions, including renting and buying.
Our goal is to give these veterans secure, clean housing and nutritional meals while surrounding them with the social and psychological support they need.
Not only are we aiming to help veterans within our own programs, but we are proud to be partners with five nonprofit organizations in Wayne County who we are giving $20,000 each to help continue their support of veterans.
How Others Help
We’re not doing this alone. We’re grateful to have received help from the community in putting this together.
Some of the people and groups who have been with us for this project include:
- Three pastors are involved in this project. They include Reverand Charles Williams II, Pastor Alonzo Bell, and Pastor Maurice Woods. These gentlemen have been generous enough to agree to handle the housing of the veterans and provide them with social needs.
- The Detroit Pistons have donated hoodies, sweatpants, socks, t-shirts, and other similar items. Their corporate sponsors have also gotten into the giving spirit. Delta Dental is providing toiletry and self-care kits and McDonald’s is providing meal vouchers.
- TCF Bank has contributed $15,000 and is looking to be there along the way providing odds-and-ends as needed.