When looking at our accomplishments in 2011, we all have a lot to be proud of. Especially so in these trying financial times. I think that the facts are pretty amazing, so wanted to share them with everyone responsible. That means you!
During calendar year 2011, we served nearly 2500 unduplicated veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Over the course of 2011:
- Our Transitional Housing programs served 138 veterans, with 79% of exits moving into permanent housing.
- Our Permanent Supportive Housing program provided residential stability to 110 disabled veterans.
- HSS provided Emergency Housing vouchers to 235 veterans, Financial Assistance to 156 moving into permanent housing, and Eviction Prevention services to 89 veterans.
- Our Employment & Training programs served 527 local veterans, providing Job Training to 469, securing Job Placements for 290, with 145 still actively seeking employment at year end. Of note, 111 of the veterans placed in jobs were homeless, and another 15 were exiting incarceration.
- And, our Legal Program served 365 homeless and at-risk veterans, providing expert advice to 161 and ongoing claims assistance to 204. Average retroactive payment per client was $27,379. Average recurring monthly benefit per clients was $1,341. For claims resolved during the year, 94% were successful.
Within a week or two, our new Permanent Housing for Veteran Families will be fully occupied. About half of the 12 units now have families in them.
By this time next year, we will also be able to boast about 75 chronically homeless veterans becoming permanently housed at Veterans Commons, and hopefully, will be able to talk about implementation of a Support Services For Veteran Families program that will allow us to provide homelessness prevention and re-housing services to an additional 330 veteran and their families each year.
Particular thanks go to the staff providing direct services, but we must also acknowledge that these good works are only possible when there is great support provided by Fiscal, HR, RD, IT, Housing Operations, Communications, and Policy staff, as well as our Board of Directors. Everyone should be very proud of the significant benefit we provide to the veterans that we all serve, and which these numbers reflect.
Leon Winston is the Chief Operating Officer of Swords to Plowshares, where he has worked on the housing, treatment, and income support needs of homeless and marginally housed veterans since 1995.