Welcome to Veteran's Helping Hands Project
We are a group of veterans and concerned civilians whose goal is to help returning veterans and their families to assimilate back into society through counseling and vocational rehab. We are also working closely with the Veteran's of Foreign Wars, American Legions, and Veteran Affairs in areas that they are not available to help in. We are committed to help facilitate the complete healing and rehabilitation of veteran's back into their personal lives.
Keeping our freedom is everyone's responsibility. A small percentage of Americans will fight for our freedoms, while the rest of us bear the responsibility to make sure the warriors succeed. We also bear the responsibility of helping the warriors integrate back into our society when they come home as "damaged goods".
"I CAN TAKE A VETERAN OFF OF THE STREET,
PUT HIM INTO A HOUSE, AND PAY HIS RENT FOREVER.
BUT I HAVE NO MONEY FOR A SECURITY DEPOSIT,
OR FIRST AND LAST MONTH'S RENT UP FRONT.
THIS IS WHERE WE NEED YOUR HELP"
U.S. DEPT OF VETERAN'S AFFAIRS
VETERAN SERVICE OFFICER
WHOSE JOB IS FINDING HOUSING
FOR HOMELESS VETS
Ways We Can Help
These are just some of the ways we plan to help our veterans as they come back home. There are many areas that the VFW. VA or American Legions don't have the accessibility or monetary means to cover. We are finding that one of our functions is bringing the vet together with existing programs offered by the VA.
There are many programs that help veterans find apartments or houses to live in but there are many holes that they might fall into. Deposits, first and last months fees, and mortgages in time of need are some of those holes. We will be able to fill in those gaps, help put down deposits or cover mortgages when needed. Things like emergency car repairs do not fit into any program's existing budget.
Vocational Rehabilitation Costs
We will cover the costs that go into training and preparing veterans into the work force at home. Be it tuition, deposits or fees for materials; we will be there to help cover those costs.
Basic emergency expenses
Car repairs, leaking roofs, emergency travel expenses, catching up on utility bills, or mortgage payments are a few of the unexpected expenses keeping the veteran down since none of these expenses fit into any of the existing programs.
We currently are working on getting a Vietnam Vet to come back in from the cold and accept help. This will most likely turn into a long project, and hopefully we will succeed. This is something that was not thought about until we were presented with this and given a choice to walk away or help.
There have been many studies, articles and reports about the tolling effect that service can be on a veteran's mental health with suicide being the top cause of death. With your help we will be able to cover costs and fees for veterans to get the counseling and therapy that they desperately need.
Family Outreach Costs
It is no easy task to integrate families back together and back into their communities after a loved one has returned from duty. We will help cover costs for retreats for families to get away from the bustle of life and reconnect. We also will help cover costs for the whole family to enter counseling together to work through the tough transition of coming back into civilian life.
Programs we are raising money for:
South Dakota Veteran's Affairs: No discretionary funds for emergencies
U.S. Dept of Veteran's Affairs: Need money to cover security deposit
Statewide VFW's: Have relief funds from poppy sales, but normally the fund is depleted early in the year.
Statewide American Legions: The same situation as the VFWs.
Statewide US Vet Centers: Do not have any funds to work with.
What we are finding is all the programs are passing the vets from one to the other hoping someone can help before the vet gives up.