Preventing Homelessness in Veterans

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Invisible injuries of war in Iraq and Afghanistan are showing up in returning troops, and a recent Pentagon surveys estimates that 20% will suffer from "temporary stress injuries" and 10% from "stress illnesses" that lead to pervasive social dislocations. PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries can lead to a cascade of problems interfering with a veteran's re-entry into society, employment and family. The Jericho Project, a 25-year old national leader in solving homelessness, is helping with its innovative Veterans Initiative including permanent supportive housing, comprehensive services and ongoing peer support. Two specially designed Veterans Residences will be in the Bronx, NY; and one is breaking ground this fall.

We are learning that there are ways to manage and mitigate the effects of mental trauma like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder so that a person can regain his or her equilibrium, confidence and life

Jericho Project to Prevent Homelessness Among Veterans

Invisible injuries of war in Iraq and Afghanistan are showing up in returning troops, so much so that recent Pentagon surveys estimate that 20% will suffer from "temporary stress injuries" and 10% from "stress illnesses" that lead to pervasive social dislocations. On top of that are the physical injuries like Traumatic Brain Injuries which likewise can prevent a veteran's re-entry into society, employment and family.

Stepping in to help is the Jericho Project, a 25-year old national leader in solving homelessness, whose holistic approach combines permanent supportive housing, comprehensive yet targeted counseling, and ongoing peer support and role modeling by its successful "graduates." Jericho will apply this model to the goal of preventing homelessness among our nation's veterans with its innovative Veterans Initiative.

In advance of breaking ground on the first of two Veterans Residences in the Bronx, New York, this fall, Jericho Executive Director Tori Lyon is already distilling the expertise of leading scientists, foundations and nonprofits into a comprehensive housing and counseling program specifically designed for vets.

"We are learning that there are ways to manage and mitigate the effects of mental trauma like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder so that a person can regain his or her equilibrium, confidence and life," she says. Chronic grief and fatigue can be misdiagnosed as PTSD, for example; and PTSD unacknowledged and untreated can result in substance abuse and alienation.

"Our goal is to intervene when veterans are in crisis so that we can prevent homelessness and help them back to the road of recovery," she adds.

We invite you to speak to Ms. Lyon on how the Jericho model will be applied to veterans of all wars and eras. At the Veterans Residences, veterans will receive compassionate counseling by people who understand the particular conflicts that veterans face; for example among Iraq vets, receiving a hero's welcome while overcome with grief, fatigue and trauma; or concealing symptoms of PTSD for fear of losing jobs in law enforcement or security.

Jericho has a track record of success: among the "graduates" of Jericho's five locations housing 253 residents, 96% move to stable, independent living, two-thirds are employed at an average salary of over $10.00 per hour, with the remainder using government benefits; and only 5% experience relapse. What's more, Jericho accomplishes this for $12,000 per person per year, less than half of the $25,000 for a New York City shelter bed; and roughly a quarter of the $40,000 for the city jail.

For its Veterans Initiative, Jericho calls upon the expertise of people and organizations including:

  • Dr. Charles Figley, one of the nation's foremost experts on combat-related trauma and its ensuing psychological stress on veterans and their families. A Fulbright Fellow and Professor, College of Social Work at Florida State University, he founded the Consortium on Veteran Studies in 1975 to study and help Vietnam veterans returning from war. This effort led to the development of the diagnosis of PTSD and a national outreach program for Vietnam veterans within the Veterans Administration.
  • The Bob Woodruff Family Foundation, which awarded Jericho a $100,000 grant for use in serving veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who have sustained Traumatic Brain Injury and/or PTSD.
  • The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. With a mission is to end homelessness among America's veterans by shaping public policy, promoting collaboration, and increasing the capacity of service providers, NCHV is the resource and technical assistance center for a national network of community-based and government veteran assistance agencies representing 48 states and the District of Columbia.

For more information on the Jericho Project, please contact Lynthia Romney, RomneyCom L.L.C., (914) 238-2145.

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Lynthia Romney
RomneyCom L.L.C.
914-238-2145
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