United Veterans Beacon House
A Project of the
Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. &
The Veterans Coalition
Overview / Beacon House Locations / Statistics / Donations
The United Veterans Beacon House provides transitional, safe housing for homeless veterans as they reintegrate into the society they willingly protected through their military service.
United Veterans Beacon House makes a difference through advocacy, education, retraining and employment.
The homeless veteran problem in the United States is becoming more and more prevalent due to an increasing national socio-economic crisis, a combined draw-down in our nations uniformed services, the “dumping” of psychiatric patients onto our nations streets as well as a host of other associated reasons.
The Veterans of Vietnam War, Inc.
& The Veterans Coalition in response to the homeless veteran problem, is operating comprehensive projects designed to assist the homeless veteran. This project has been designated by the VVnW
& The Veterans Coalition as the United Veterans Beacon House Project (UVBH). The United Veterans Beacon Houses are designed to offer a safe drug/alcohol-free haven, direct the veteran to a multitude of support agencies offering assistance, and provide the veteran with decent shelter while the veteran rebuilds his/her life.
The concept of the UVBH is to provide housing for the veteran to allow the veteran to restructure and rebuild his/her life. The veteran is allowed to stay in a UVBH for a period of six months to two years, a VA requirement. Studies have shown that with this length of stay, the veteran has the ability to begin a new working career, change jobs as upward mobility dictates and amass the financial resources to become self-sufficient.
During the veteran’s stay at a UVBH, a full range of services are provided including drug and alcohol counseling, PTSD counseling, other psychological and family counseling, life skills training, full employment counseling and a wide range of medical services.
Each UVBH networks with existing community services and the Department of Veterans Affairs resources to insure against a duplication of services.
Currently, the VVnW & The
Veterans Coalition have United Veterans Beacon Houses in Promise, South
Dakota: Akron, Pennsylvania; and 22 sites in New York. Proposed future
sites include Parade, South Dakota: Norfolk, Virginia; New Mexico;
Kansas and Montana.
The United Veterans Beacon House project
also operates food pantries for veterans and their families in need.
CONCEPTS AND REQUIREMENTS
Each UVBH will provide the veteran safe, drug and alcohol free housing for a period of not less than six months nor more than two years.
The veteran must take an active part in his/her rehabilitation by participating in appropriate social services including appropriate psychological counseling, employment counseling, family counseling, drug and alcohol counseling and any other counseling assigned by his/her counselor.
The veteran will participate in the upkeep and maintenance of the physical building as well as the continued care of his/her personal property and area.
Each United Veterans Beacon House will meet certain minimum requirements before receiving full or partial funding from the VVnW & The Veterans Coalition. These requirements are divided into two categories: 1. the physical building and, 2. the social work plan.
The Physical Building:
Each United Veterans Beacon House will be either an existing structure modified as a shelter or new construction specifically designed as a shelter. In either case, the minimal suggested criteria to secure VVnW & The Veterans Coalition funding is the same:
1. A minimum of eight (8) beds – no more than two (2) beds per room or a dormitory- style room containing no more than four (4) beds or a combination of double rooms and dormitory rooms.
2. A minimum of one apartment consisting of two (2) bedrooms and a bath for one family.
3. A minimum of 2 and ˝ baths for those not sheltered in the apartment.
4. A minimum of one room set aside for group counseling.
5. A minimum of one room set aside for individual counseling.
6. A common kitchen to prepare group meals.
7. A common dining room.
8. A group room other than the counseling room for living space, TV, etc.
9. A room designated as office space for administration of the program.
10. Adequate parking for administrative personnel and service providers.
11. All local building codes and all zoning ordinances must be observed.
12. Appropriate furnishings or access to the same must be provided and include all cooking utensils, refrigerators, etc.
The Social Work Plan:
To secure funding from the VVnW & The Veterans Coalition, the United Veterans Beacon House must provide the following services:
1. Counseling services must be contracted for from the local DVA or private provider for counseling to:
a. Provide drug and alcohol counseling by a designated DVA provider or a private Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC).
b. Provide PTSD counseling by a designated DVA provider or a private therapist – preferably a Certified Trauma Counselor (CTC).
c. Provide Family Counseling by a designated DVA provider or private counselor (or have the access to such service when the family apartment is being utilized).
d. Provide psychological counseling for non-service related problems by a designated DVA provider or private counselor.
e. Provide employment counseling from DVA sources or the local Job Service Office.
2. Medical services must be contracted for from the local DVA or a private provider to assure adequate medical treatment for all veterans and their families.
3. Living skills education must be provided either by a local VVnW post or by a local contractor.
The Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. & The Veterans Coalition are committed to continuing and expanding our United Veterans Beacon House Project. We intend to pursue this expansion through corporate contributions, government grants and programs and through our own fund-raising efforts.
Our final goal is to have UVBHs across the country. We know that we alone cannot eradicate homelessness among the veteran population. However, we will make a difference.
United Veteran Beacon House Locations
22 locations in New
If you would like to make a donation to Beacon House, please mail it to
Veterans of the Vietnam
& The Veterans Coalition
805 South Township Blvd.
Pittston, PA 18640
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Homeless Veterans Statistics
There are an estimated 300,000
Veterans who are Homeless on any given night and twice that
number experience homelessness over the
course of a year.
1/3 of the homeless have served in the
United States Military.
Most homeless Veterans are male and account for at least 60% of the nation's homeless men.
More than 90% of the homeless
Veterans are high school graduates, a third have some college education. Most are unemployed, but nearly all have worked in the past year.
The single largest segment of
homeless Veterans, approximately 58%, are from the Vietnam Era. 3% from WWII, 14% Korean War, and 25% from the Post Vietnam Era, including Desert Storm.
One quarter of homeless
Veterans from the Vietnam Era have full or partial symptoms flashbacks, anxiety, emotional numbing, depression of the war related mental illness called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Those with PTSD are more likely to be unemployed than those without it and up to six times likely to abuse alcohol and drugs.
More than half of the homeless
Veterans have a drug or alcohol abuse problem that may have started or worsened during their military service.
Between 1/2 and 2/3 of homeless Veterans have had at least one failed marriage/relationship strained or broken by the weight of their problems.
Veterans are homeless for many reasons that anyone can be: poor job market, steep
housing costs. Slashed social programs, and military downsizing. The lack of
affordable housing, specifically efficiency apartments and rooming houses, is a significant problem.
The most effective programs for homeless
Veterans are community based, non-profit
vet helping groups. There are approximately 160 non-profit community based
Veterans organizations across the country which demonstrates
impressive success records.
We, the Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc.
& The Veterans Coalition, have established Beacon Houses to house
homeless Veterans and it is our goal to have or to assist one in every State across America. We can ensure that homeless
Veterans will have a second chance on life
and keep homelessness to a minimum.
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