Centerpointe Awarded Grant to Help Homeless Veterans

By: 10/11 News Email
By: 10/11 News Email

Having a permanent place to stay is the key to fighting homelessness, but it takes a lot of little steps to get there.

One Lincoln organization just got a boost to serve those who served their country.

The Department of Veterans Affairs awarded Centerpointe nearly $1.2 million to find homes for veterans.

"This step is critically important to help get that roof over their head because you don't get better really if you are living in a temporary setting," Executive Director of Centerpointe, Topher Hansen said.

Centerpointe helps low income and homeless people with addiction and mental health disorders. Hansen says the center sees nearly a thousand people every year, many of which are veterans.

"We have so many more veterans with needs than we did 20 years ago so we need to bring up the services necessary to help meet their need," Hansen said.

Centerpointe not only helps veterans find homes but also offers services and treatments to help turn that temporary home into a permanent home.

"Often times if people have been in a homeless condition or had untreated mental illness or addiction for quite some time there are rehabilitation type needs that people have that are how to live independently, how to manage a budget, how to shop, how to work with landlords, how to function in daily living," Hansen said.

Centerpoint provides about 180 living spaces to their clients. With this grant, 25 additional beds will be reserved for veterans, bringing the total to 41.

"They've given a lot to help us by serving in the military and this is a way for us to give back," Hansen said.

The grant is part of a five-year plan to eliminate veteran homelessness by 2015.

The VA has committed almost $1 billion to strengthen programs that prevent and treat the many issues that can lead to veteran homelessness.

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