Volunteer – How can you help?
There are many services available to help homeless veterans, but sometimes funding and services are limited. You can play a part in ending homelessness for veterans by becoming aware of the programs in your community and doing what you can to help.
Here are six ways to help homeless veterans you may not have known about.
1. Community-Based Groups
Get involved with community-based programs that help relieve the problems of homeless veterans. Many of these non-profit groups offer the best ways to help vets transition from a state of homelessness to independent and permanent housing, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. Government money is often limited, so community groups help fill in the need with volunteers to provide support and resources for returning vets.
2. Local Government Officials
Contact your local officials, from your congressman to the mayor’s office, to find providers that offer help for homeless vets. Ask what’s being done in your community about helping the homeless. You can encourage more assistance for vets by the local government or ask how such programs can be developed.
Participate in local homeless coalitions and ask what they need most. Americans for Independent Living is always interested in volunteer help. From helping with renovations on a new transitional house to helping in the office putting together basic care boxes for veterans-there is something for everyone to help.
4. Form a Coalition
If homeless assistance for vets is lacking in your community, seek the help of other people you know who would like to get involved in helping homeless veterans. You can then form your own coalition.
If you are not able to volunteer at this time, you can still donate to community programs in your area that help homeless vets. Americans for Independent Living is always accepting donations of furniture, clothing and household goods. Call the office at 319-243-9932 for drop off or pick up information. You can also call the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans at 1-800-VET-HELP.
An important part in preventing homelessness among veterans is through employment, according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. If you’re a business owner, you can focus on hiring veterans, if possible. People can encourage their employers or businesses in the area to provide sustainable employment for veterans to avoid homelessness in your community. Workforce training and guidance for job seekers is another needed service. If your business is interested in offering job training or mentoring, please contact Americans for Independent living at 319-234-9932. *
*Information provided by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
Volunteers helping sort clothes and put together basic care packages
Youth volunteer group from St. Timothy’s in Hudson, IA
Americans for Independent Living Volunteer Form
Thank you for your interest in volunteering for our organization!