Source: There are many community non-profit organizations that say they are focused on Veterans and their families during times of need; however there are few that actually serve Veterans with resources, services, and tools that help uplift Veterans in the moment…
Veteran homelessness is a serious problem. Out of the total homeless population, up to 23% of homeless individuals have served in the military. Not only is homelessness of Veterans on the rise, it has become a national disgrace, and the 800 pound gorilla in the room most elected officials have avoided while stumping for office. The pandemic that has swept our nation and seems to get very little media coverage is a significant issue deserving a national audience.
Grass roots, community non-profit organizations have sprouted up in the most unlikely of places, stepping up their efforts to combat Veteran homelessness and even assisting Veterans that face the very real threat of becoming homeless in the moment as it happens.
One organization that has taken on this challenge is Project Help. Project Help is a 503c(3) community non-profit organization that was founded with one mission in mind; to assist Veterans and their families during their time in need. The New Jersey based organization, made up of volunteers, board members, and corporate donors, have aimed their sights on combatting Veteran homelessness.
Project Help serves Veterans in a number of methods and practices…
Project Help serves as a resource center. Project Help is connected with a number of other Veteran focused organizations, some that are community non-profit based and some that are directly affiliated with Veteran services in the areas of health care, job assistance, job training, employment, counseling and support groups. Employment is the first defense against Veteran homelessness. When a Veteran can find a job that will provide them with a reasonable standard of living and compensation package (livable wage), the Veteran is able to hold themselves up by their own efforts.
Unfortunately most Veterans cannot find work that is in line with their previous assignment in the military, thus they must become trained and acquire new skills for job placement. Access and the ability to pay for education go hand in hand with gainful employment. Project Help has stepped in and assisted Veterans in the past that were just a few yards away from completing their higher education goals, with assistance from the Project Help Hardship Fund.
Project Help has helped connect homeless Veterans with job opportunities, with employers who understand the importance of putting Veterans back to work in gainful employment. Many of these employers are also Veterans that are also small business owners.
Project Help Launched its Mobile Closet, a bus retrofitted to serve as a mobile campus full of clothes, used laptop computers for use that day to prep job resumes, and other personal grooming-hygiene products for Veterans that are in search clothing and needs for a job interview. This service is a FREE service to Veterans, as all of the items on the bus are donated by private individuals and businesses that help fund the mobile closet’s operation.
Project Help established a Hardship Fund that serves as a stop gap for Veterans that find themselves short of resources. Veterans and their families in need can apply for assistance, however each applicant and their needs are subject to a though review process and monitoring to assure resources are applied to the need and not spent outside of the established need.
Project Help is led by Sandy Mitchell, Founder and CEO; who felt it was important to upstart the organization after experiencing the loss of her husband, a Veteran that also suffered from PTSD.
Mitchell is flanked by volunteers and local business community that has made it part of their mission to give back to Project Help. 100% of the proceeds donated to Project Help go directly to serving and supporting Veteran needs programs.
Project Help’s position is that the best way to combat Veteran homelessness it to take preventative measures against it.
If you would like to help, please call 973-875-2068.
Samuel K. Burlum is an Investigative Reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Samuel K. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur, who currently lends his expertise as a Consultant firm to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of “The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water,” and “Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses.”