This is the 3,000 square foot office building that has been donated to us by Garry Cain of Rose Office Systems. This building will provide dining, kitchen, meeting and office spaces for our initiative.
Visit Rose Office Systems for any of your building needs - Garry is a top shelf individual and we are blessed to have him helping our veterans.
This is one of the single dorm rooms we will have available in our housing unit. We will have 21 of these rooms and 12 double rooms to be used by families as needed.
This is the proposed floor plan of our completed center. Help us help the veterans and donate today.
Homeless veterans can be found on the streets of every major city and every state in our nation. From Washington DC to Norfolk and Richmond, VA to Jacksonville and Tampa, FL to Houston and Dallas, TX to San Diego and Los Angeles, CA. There is a need for our initiative in many locations. We are planning our pilot center to be in Birmingham, AL with future centers in other areas identified.
Homeless population in Birmingham is currently at nearly 3,000. Of these approximately 800 are veterans, 5% of these are women. Many of these veterans are dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues. All face each day on the streets looking for a meal and a place to sleep in safety. There are limited beds available for the entire homeless population and the veterans receive no special treatment because they are veterans. 27% of these homeless are chronic homeless - over 12 months on the streets. The availability of services and treatment centers is a major obstacle in providing for the homeless population. There are multiple agencies in the metropolitan Birmingham area that provide various services to address the homeless challenge in the city.
.. will not seek to replace any of these agencies - nor will we be the "one stop - fix it all" shop.
A part of this initiative is to also identify veterans who are in danger of becoming homeless. Through networking with social agencies, faith based organizations and veterans organizations we will identify these veterans. We will also keep the awareness of our services in front of the veteran population and local government agencies to continue to drive down the number of veterans who are or may become homeless. We can then begin case management to ensure this veteran does not become homeless.
The initiative of "Three Hots and A Cot" is to serve those who have served our country by attacking the challenge in four different ways - all coming together for the final goal. Enabling the veteran to transition to a self sustained life style. Our program is both new and an expansion of current services. New - in that we will be the only facility in Birmingham offering these services to veterans only. Coordinating our efforts closely with the VA in Birmingham. We will expand other services - addiction treatment availability, job training and employment services, long term housing arrangement, and other type of services will be offered at our center - but will be coordinated with those agencies currently offering these services. Our center will provide a home base of operations for the veteran to access available services to him or her as needed.
Services available will include:
*Transportation (to and from appointments with other agencies)
*Group support meeting facilities
24/7 staff support
The four pronged initiative will address issues - short term, long term, transitional and day guest.
Short term - will be lodging and meals available to those veterans who have no medical, mental or substance abuse issues pending resolution. These veterans are veterans who have only recently become homeless and need our services while job hunting and until they can obtain affordable housing. In this category would also be the recently released from incarceration veterans who may need our services. Goal with these guest veterans is to have them in stand alone status within 30-45 days.
Long term - These are the veterans who will need resolution of any pending medical, mental, or substance abuse issues. If the abuse can be treated through an out patient facility and the veteran can acclimate themselves to living in our environment - then we will provide services to the veteran through completion of treatment and obtaining employment and affordable housing. Medical and mental health issues will also fall into the Long term category. If the treatment can be provided as an outpatient and the veteran will adjust to a group home environment for living arrangements - the veteran will be a long term resident. Those veterans who are terminally ill will also be in this category. We will coordinate treatment with agencies like Hospice for these veterans for as long as they can be treated as an outpatient. We will work with other agencies to provide more suitable lodgings as they are available for the terminally ill veterans.
Long term residency should not exceed 24 months for any of the above classified veterans. In that time we will coordinate with other agencies - both private, state and federal - to obtain more permanent housing as it becomes available.
Transitional - this is for those veterans who are homeless - but moving on to another part of the country because of family connections or potential employment opportunities outside of the Birmingham Metro area. These veterans will be able to stay for up to five days as a transient - at which time they will have to sign up for additional services (job placement) if they are going to stay beyond a reasonable transient time.
Day Guest - these are veterans who are homeless - but due to space limitations of the center or the veteran not willing to reside at the center - will still have access to our day services. Day services are identified above. Breakfast and evening meal will be restricted to residents of the center. The mid day meal will be open door to all homeless from the community.
Coordination of efforts - our efforts will be coordinated with several different federal, state, city, non profit, and faith based organizations. This includes, but is not limited to the Veterans Affairs Administration, United Way of Central Alabama, Hospice of Alabama, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Greater Birmingham Ministries, Metropolitan Birmingham Service for the Homeless, and HUD - Homeless Management Information System. Understanding that Three Hots and A Cot is not going to be the solution to this problem of epidemic proportion. It is only through coordinated efforts with other agencies sharing a common goal will we recognize any measurable success.
Measurement of success - will come from our ability to assist our veterans in obtaining the means to secure affordable housing and provide for their own way. We are not going to measure the temporary band aid type fixes - we are measuring long term success of the veterans who were our guest as they moved from a life on the streets - to a self sustaining life.