Sheila Morley, Community, Housing and Human Services, No Phone Number Available
Friday, April 3, 2015 at 3:42 p.m.
Modified April 06, 2015
Gilbert returned home from the Vietnam War and became a strong member of the Spokane community, purchasing his own home and providing for his family. After some years, the effects of Vietnam and Agent Orange played a severe toll on Gilbert’s health. His enormous medical bills eventually crippled him financially, and he found himself homeless after foreclosure.
Gilbert’s story is, sadly, all too common. But the City and its partners want to make sure Spokane’s homeless veterans, like Gilbert, get the happy ending our heroes deserve.
Earlier this year, the City announced it was taking part in a nine-month initiative as part of the national Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. Just a couple of months into our initiative, Homes for Spokane’s Heroes, the City has been ramping up its efforts.
There are about 259 homeless veterans in the area. Through outreach and referrals from other agencies, the City has already begun working with many of them. In February, 18 veterans were identified and enrolled from the House of Charity, Truth Ministries, the Warming Center Program and the Union Gospel Mission. The Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program and Goodwill’s Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) program are working collaboratively to screen and place veterans quickly into the appropriate housing intervention. The Homes for Spokane’s Heroes initiative leadership team continues to work with programs like those across the area to identify, stabilize and quickly house all chronically homeless veterans.
But we need your help to end veteran homelessness for good in Spokane. Help us find all our heroes who need help. If you know of any person (or household) who has served in the armed forces and is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, please call our community hotline at 509.828.2449.
As for Gilbert? He’s no longer homeless. Through the SSVF program and the VA, he was able to get back on his feet and is completely independent again. Staff at Goodwill call him “an inspiration to the entire SSVF team and fellow veterans.”