Begun in 1988, the Veterans Re-Entry Program provides transitional housing for homeless veterans having difficulties re-entering society because of post-traumatic stress syndrome or substance abuse or other problems. Funded under a contract with the Veterans Administration, and located at St. Francis House’s Elm Street location, the program provides a therapeutic setting for homeless veterans, including the services of counseling, transitional housing, meals, laundry and activities.
Upon arrival, clients’ personal needs are assessed, and, if needed, they are provided personal items of soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste. The average stay is 3 months, but can be as long as 2 years. Veterans participate in various training groups 4 days a week, including life skills.
Able veterans are required to seek full time employment. Assistance with employment is provided by a Veterans Administrations employee. Those unable to work are assisted with securing other types of income, such as VA pension or disability. All residents are required to save 75% of their income to secure permanent housing. Once their savings are sufficient, they are assisted in finding housing. Outside activities are provided for the veterans, including bowling, movies or going out to eat, and “game nights” are organized periodically.
Homeless Female Veterans and Veterans with Families receive employment services. This program is funded by the Department of Labor. Veterans are assisted to find viable employment and secure housing.