Operation 6: I got your back!
The Jerry Ambrose Veterans Council of Mohave County, Inc. (JAVC), an established 501(C)(3) Public Charity is seeking funding to establish a Veterans Outreach Program. This will provide homeless and at-risk veterans with housing, group counseling, vocational training and employment in Mohave County. The US Department of Veterans Affairs and the Housing and Urban Development collected data in 2018 through At-Risk Veterans Stand Downs and Point in Time (PIT) surveys that showed an urgent need for a more proactive approach to ending homelessness among our veteran population in rural areas. This program was designed to not only address those needs in rural Mohave County, but demonstrate that it could easily be applied to any urban or rural setting in the United States.
This program is in three phases:
The first phase is to obtain property and build the infrastructure. Arnold Plaza in Downtown Kingman has been selected as being suitable in size and its location is very close to many of the resources that our veterans need to be successful. We have purchased this property and are currently in the redesign and construction phase. The redesign includes 25 individual apartment units, training rooms, resource rooms, service areas and much more.
The second phase is to identify and house those homeless veterans that are seeking a “Hand Up”. The plan is to take care of their physical and mental health requirements and get them fit to start their return to a gainful civilian life. A review of any claims or benefits that they have earned will be initiated and if they are unable to fulfill employment opportunities we will work to obtain suitable housing for the long term. JAVC Operation 6 Project will – at a minimum – provide the following services to address these root causes:
- Intensive case management with wrap-around supportive services by community partnerships
- A therapeutic community treatment approach
- A 180 day progression through the program, including substance abuse, mental health, job training and placement, medical care and assistance with placement into permanent housing
The third phase is to help veterans obtain gainful employment. Our goal is to identify any transferable skills and move toward suitable employment that matches their knowledge, skills and abilities. We do realize that having a good skill set and getting a job is not an easy transition. This is where our parallel Veteran Services programs will offer group counseling and teach our veterans how to create a resume, fill out a job application and handle a job interview. With various community resources willing to help with this project, we have an established county wide network. Upon employment, it is our plan to retain the successful veteran in our facility until a suitable bank balance can be gathered in order to halt the reversal of not having enough personal resources to have a prospect for success.
For our older veterans who served in previous wars and who are now in their senior years face a different set of challenges and needs. We will also attempt to address these: prolonged health issues and medical bills, living on a fixed income, nutritional concerns, homelessness, and having access to reliable transportation for such things as medical appointments, VA Court appearances, VA appointments, etc.
The JAVC believes that this combination will result in an 80% success rate for the transition to a successful civilian and adding value to our communities.
The benefits to the veteran and his/her family will be measurable. They will regain self-pride and be able to feel good about themselves again. This will be supported by their fellow veterans going through the program. It’s a feeling of belonging that most haven’t felt, since their time in the military. Veterans know what support is: “My buddy’s life depends on me protecting their back and my life depends on my buddy protecting my back.” Ergo Operation 6 (I got your back!)