Garden Grove, CA – November 30, 2011 – Veterans returning home from combat duty are under the impression they are ready and able to find work, and a stable, safe home environment. While fighting the wars, they are under the impression that America will take care of its veterans. The cold reality is 23% of the homeless are veterans. According to the website, www.nchv.org from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, 47% of these statistics served during the Vietnam era; 17% served in post-Vietnam; 76% experience alcohol, drug, or mental health problems. In 2009, the VA estimated approximately 107,000 homeless veterans were seeking assistance due to homelessness. These statistics are shocking to many; however, with tight economic times, job shortages, and difficulties veterans experience after returning home, these statistics are expected to increase. Perhaps the questions to ask are: What is being done to assist veterans? What services do the homeless veterans in America need? Most of all, who is helping the homeless veterans?
There are many programs to assist veterans. According to National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, “The most effective programs for homeless and at-risk veterans are community based, nonprofit, “Veterans helping Veterans groups.” Veterans-For-Change [VFC] is actively involved in doing all they can to help the homeless veterans. One of the recent missions to assist homeless veterans is the Veterans-For-Change Homeless Heroes Back Pack Program. On Saturday, December 3, 2011, Veterans-For-Change has “Partnered with Southern California Gas, Garden Grove, Anaheim Police Department, Health and Human Services, Young Marines and many more to collect items needed to create 300 backpacks to be distributed to veterans on the streets in Los Angeles and Orange County, California,” said Jim Davis, Founder of Veterans-For-Change. The goal for this mission is 300+ back packs. “For $10.00, we can buy one back pack and for a generous donation of $25.00 we can complete a full back pack. Imagine being a veteran, living on the streets in freezing weather. If lucky, they may find a cardboard box to sleep on. Imagine not having a decent meal, or a shower or warm bed to sleep in, for days and months on end.” That is how a homeless veteran is forced to live. “The Veterans Administration is not moving fast enough to process claims and most VAMC’s won’t do a thing to help those who served our great country. To assist the veterans who fought so bravely to serve their country, we come to our Veteran community to simply ask –‘Will you help us to get 300 Veterans off the streets, into programs and shelters? Helping our Homeless Veterans is not a hand out, but a hand up or a handshake to show them we care.’
Veterans-For-Change needs the following items:
- Cream rinse
- Shaving Cream
- Food gift cards (McDonalds, Carls, Jr., and Burger King)
- Back Packs
During this holiday season, if you are blessed to never have such devastating problems, please remember the movie, “Pay It Forward,” and do what you can to reach out to touch a veteran.
Volunteers will be meeting on Saturday, December 3, 2011 from noon till 4:30pm to assemble and distribute back packs at:
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
10212 Stanford Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92840