author: tylah worrell
On behalf of Housing Visions, Happy Veteran’s Day! With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we would like to express our sincerest gratitude to all Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.
At Housing Visions, we understand that a Veteran’s service comes with many sacrifices. Veterans face unique challenges and barriers after exiting the military, such as experiencing issues related to mental health, substance use, and homelessness. In order to combat these challenges and decrease barriers to housing, the “Housing First” approach is often utilized where the priority is to stabilize the individual by first getting them into safe, permanent housing and then providing wraparound support services after their housing is secured. When exploring housing options for a person experiencing homelessness, it’s important to consider what type of housing would be most beneficial for them. Permanent supportive housing options often include single-site (once central building with multiple units all dedicated to formerly homeless tenants) and scattered-site (placing formerly homeless tenants in buildings scattered throughout a city or county). Each of these components come together to provide an inclusive permanent supportive housing structure. In striving to honor the dignity and diversity of our Veteran residents and provide choice as to where they desire to live, Housing Visions provides single-site permanent supportive housing to Veterans at VanKeuren Square, and scattered-site permanent supportive housing at our Maple Heights and Eaglewood Eastcommunities.
The key to effective Housing First implementation is the support services that come after housing a tenant. Housing Visions’ VanKeuren Square property is a comprehensive collaboration between Housing Visions and the Syracuse VA Medical Center, and many other local Veteran service providers. Housing Visions provides on-site case management to Veteran residents through our Housing Stability Program. Over the last several months, our Housing Stability Coordinators have facilitated weekly “Coffee Chats” where they meet with Veterans to encourage social engagement and build community. Through partnerships with programs and organizations such as Cornell Cooperative Extensionand SyracuseServes, a program of Syracuse University’s D’Aniello Institute for Veteran and Military Families (IVMF), Veterans can access additional resources such as therapeutic supports, educational workshops, and referrals to external organizations to meet their needs. Supporting evidence shows that having a supportive, healthy community reduces drug and alcohol use, social isolation, and negative mental and physical health outcomes.
Housing Visions aims to provide a holistic approach to permanent housing. We believe that if we can work alongside our tenants in building a safe and trusting environment, collaborate in setting goals, and make progress in the areas of finances, education, health, and community, our tenants will ultimately reach stabilization, become more independent, and possess an overall better quality of life. We are honored to serve those who have served us.
Please take a moment to consider making a donation to support our housing and services for Veterans at VanKeuren Square (VKS). Should you choose, your donation can be dedicated to the honor of a special Veteran in your life. With your permission, we will list the names of all honored Veterans on our website on a VKS Dedication Page.