Help Homeless Veterans This July 4th
By Sarah Ford on July 2, 2015
Source: Miriam's Kitchen
As July 4th approaches, I am reminded of the many homeless guests at Miriam’s Kitchen who helped fight for the freedoms that we enjoy.
Bill, a Vietnam War veteran, immediately comes to mind. Though Bill came to Miriam’s Kitchen for our healthy meals, he is most thankful for our help getting him into supportive housing.
After completing his military service, Bill returned to D.C. and led a normal life. However, he experienced a delayed onset of post-traumatic stress disorder, and Bill became homeless. “I thought I was ok, but during the war I saw some stuff no human being should have to see.”
Bill fought hard to get back on his feet, but the trauma of war resurfaced—landing him back on the streets for the next 17 years.
I am proud to share that today, Bill has a safe place to call home and has been off the streets for five years.
What factors helped Bill get out of homelessness? First, he found Miriam’s Kitchen, and then we matched him to the right type of housing.
Bill’s helping hand came from Adam Rocap, who was a case manager at Miriam’s Kitchen. Adam matched Bill with a permanent supportive housing program through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“If it weren’t for Adam and Miriam’s Kitchen, I would have never been housed. They treat you with dignity, care and love.”
Since 2013, Miriam’s Kitchen and our partners in D.C. have helped 951 veterans obtain housing. As of April 2015, there were 318 veterans still living in shelters or transitional housing.
You have the opportunity to help guide homeless military veterans like Bill home and make D.C. the first city on the East Coast to end veteran homelessness.
Your support ensures we have boots on the ground to help guests secure needed IDs, obtain proof of military service, and get connected to the VA and veteran housing resources. It also ensures that Miriam’s Kitchen can continue to work with city leaders to push forward the resources needed and track our progress to end veteran homelessness in DC by the end of 2015.
By giving today, you help make sure that every homeless military veteran is housed before hypothermia season.