A Place to Call Home
Struggling veterans receive extensive services in the new San Pedro transitional housing program
Veteran Eli never imagined himself living on the streets. After he was discharged, he experienced numerous personal challenges leading to a family crisis one night.
Suddenly, he had no place to live.
That one night turned into months, and then more than a year—until he found help through Volunteers of America Los Angeles (VOALA.)
“You don’t think you can be in a better place when you’re on the street. You want it, but you don’t even know how you’re going to get there,” he said. “It’s really easy to get defeated.”
A new VOALA Veterans Transitional Housing Program opening in San Pedro next month will provide veterans like Eli with more than a place to sleep for the night—they’ll also receive guidance and assistance to help them improve their situations.
“VOALA is always here to provide services that help veterans get back on their feet,” said Ryan Grady, VOALA Assistant Director of Operations. “We care for the whole person. We’re here to help veterans overcome the barriers between them and stability and security.”
Working through a labyrinth of agencies and paperwork just to find housing can be confusing and frustrating for veterans, leaving them feeling more helpless than before.
Through one of the many VOALA programs that help veterans experiencing homelessness, Eli connected with a case manager who worked with him to find a permanent place to call home. One caveat was that Luna, his service dog, could live with him.
“I had been applying for places and getting denied,” he said. “Now I’m in this beautiful one-bedroom apartment with Luna.”
With a stable place to live, Eli returned to his work as a stuntman and is able to support himself and Luna.
“You think your situation is too much, and you’ll never find a solution. Sometimes you just need a little help,” Eli said. “And VOALA will guide you along.”
Through the San Pedro program, qualified veterans from all walks of life may secure transitional housing and on-site specialized support that includes case management, food, life skills counseling, employment referrals, financial assistance, and help with obtaining VA benefits.
Veterans often miss the structure and sense of team the military provides, and adapting to civilian life can be difficult for numerous reasons. Nearly 40,000 veterans are without shelter in the United States on any given night. California has the highest estimated number of veterans experiencing homelessness, with almost 11,000 living without any shelter—and more than 10 percent of all homeless veterans in the United States reside in Los Angeles County.
“VOALA’s San Pedro Veterans Transitional Housing Program is an asset to the community,” Grady said. “We’re providing a safe and welcoming space for people who served our country. It’s a way for the rest of us to show our appreciation by giving back to our veterans. We want them to know that San Pedro is a great place to call home.”
VOALA has a long history of helping people throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties, serving children, youth and families from underserved communities, and offering support for veterans, individuals, and families challenged by homelessness.
For more info contact: Allyson Savala, firstname.lastname@example.org, (213) 563-7979