“I am excited to partner with an organization that has been dedicated to supporting homeless and at-risk veterans for decades, and understands the value Veterans Roasters provides to the same population around employment and skill development,” said Veteran Roasters owner, Branden Marty. “We hope this is just the start of our relationship, and that coffee can help be the vehicle that changes the lives of even more veterans.”
The United States Veterans Initiative, aka U.S.VETS, housing programs are at the core of their mission. Last year, they provided transitional and permanent housing to over 6,500 veterans across the country. And they offer a variety of support services available to each veteran to address the root causes that led to homelessness, including individualized case management to combat these issues and help each person maintain stability.
In the early 1990s, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Los Angeles polled its inpatients and found that twenty-five percent of them had no place to go when they were discharged. They’d walk out of the hospital and straight into the streets, which, then claimed some 24,000 homeless veterans in Los Angeles County. This realization didn’t sit well with Federal Judge Harry Pregerson, a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Night Circuit who was severely wounded in the Battle of Okinawa during his service as a Marine 1st Lieutenant during World War II. He responded by gathering a group of prominent private citizens together to fight the cycle of homelessness. They called themselves The Genesis Committee and used their time and considerable talent to change the lives of veterans. They purchased the building that became the first U.S.VETS residential facility, Westside Residence Hall in Inglewood, CA. Westside initially housed five veterans; today it houses up to 600.
Since 1993, U.S.VETS has engaged over 158,000 veterans, helped more than 57,000 veterans have a place to call home, and placed 14,000 veterans into jobs. With 20 residential sites and nine service centers in thirteen cities across five States, the District of Columbia, and the territory of Guam, U.S.VETS impacts the lives of over 20,000 veterans and their family members each year. The organization works to help vets translate their military skills to the civilian workforce, and their Career Development Initiative connects them with employers who see the value in their experience. Last year, U.S.VETS placed over 1,100 veterans into jobs.
With the invisible wounds of war haunting so many, especially PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and depression, and substance abuse tends to put veterans at a higher risk of homelessness than civilian counterparts. Last year, U.S.VETS provided over 287,000 mental health assessments and counseling sessions. Additionally, U.S.VETS provides free mental health services to OEF/OIF veterans and their families through their Outside the Wire program. One in five women serving in the military experiences some form of sexual trauma while in service. To combat this, U.S.VETS created their ADVANCE program to address the unique needs of woman warriors, particularly those living with Military Sexual Trauma (MST).
As U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan continues to wind down, the issues of veteran unemployment, homelessness, Post-Traumatic Stress, and other reintegration issues have reached critical levels. Twenty veterans a day commit suicide in the United States. U.S.VETS works to end homelessness, disillusionment and disappointment, and strive to show the men and women of the armed forces that there is a path forward through empowering them to take responsibility for his or her success by guiding them towards independence in the community, developing their workforce skills and supporting recovery….the kind of mission Veteran Roasters fully endorses.
For the month of February, use promo code: USVETS to save 15% off your order (including subscription orders!) and 50% of those profits will go to U.S.VETS to support their mission!