The Veteran’s Ranch: Helping Our Homeless Heroes
Homelessness among Veterans is a nationwide problem.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, at a certain point in January 2020, there were 37,252 homeless veterans in the United States. Read differently, that’s over 37,000 veterans who protected this great country and now have no place to live.
The Veteran’s Ranch
Fortunately, there are a number of organizations that exist solely to eradicate homelessness, suicide, and substance abuse within the Veteran community. One of these great organizations is The Veteran’s Ranch.
The Veteran’s Ranch was founded by two military veterans who saw the need for a supportive housing solution to the overcrowded VA housing system and rising population of individuals experiencing homelessness.
“Our mission at The Veteran’s Ranch is to provide a safe sanctuary where veterans experiencing homelessness and mental health problems can feel secure to heal and prosper in life. We do this by offering individuals transitional and permanent housing along with support services that focus on healing the whole person inside and out.”
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Housing Programs at The Veteran’s Ranch
The Veteran’s Ranch offers permanent housing to all ranch members at a portion of the price of a regular house. Moreover, using employment services offered by the Ranch, Veterans can contribute to their homeownership without the burden of rent or utility expenses.
Alternatively, supportive housing is a private and secure place where Veterans can make a home while accessing voluntary services designed to improve their lives. The goal of this program is to connect safe, affordable housing with voluntary support services so Veterans can stay in houses and live as part of a community.
The best part is, there is no time limit for staying in transitional housing, so Veterans do not have the additional stress of searching for a home or the fear of losing the roof over their heads.
Programs Offered by The Veteran’s Ranch
Supportive Community Housing
Through this program, Veterans can transition out of homelessness and live in peer-supported communities. Additionally, Veterans are offered furnished homes that include utilities and additional services to empower their lives. These services include:
- Case management
- Mental health referrals
- Peer mentoring
- Spiritual care
- Support groups
- Crisis intervention
- Legal assistance
- Employment support
- Dental care
- Financial planning
- Recovery support
- Independent living skills
Community Waste Abatement
Ranch members can volunteer on the Community Waste Abatement (CWA) team as a way to help their community and gain employment.
Veterans in this program generally start out on a team that works on area beautification projects. These projects can range from street cleaning, recycling separation, and hazardous waste disposal. Those who show dedication and leadership skills can become employed as Team Leaders and Managers.
In return, all CWA volunteers receive a weekly cash stipend to cover personal expenses such as cell phones, wellness items, or outside meals.
The Veteran’s Ranch offers a program that addresses the spiritual needs of its residents. In this program, a counselor creates a safe environment where Veterans can explore concerns and express feelings without judgement.
The Spiritual Care counselors offer:
- Non-judgemental listening
- Coordination of spiritual care with community clergy
- Spiritual counseling
- Exploring beliefs of an afterlife
- Reconciling life choices
- Examining loving relationships
- Family support
- Prayer and meditation
- Funeral or memorial services
The spiritual care offered by The Veteran’s Ranch is a key component of recovery for Veterans suffering from PTSD and other mental health conditions.
Donate to The Veteran’s Ranch
Make a contribution to the Ranch’s mission.
Your donations will purchase and distribute care backpacks, medical supplies, and food to homeless veterans in California.
Contact The Veteran’s Ranch
If you or someone you know needs assistance with breaking out of homelessness, contact The Veteran’s Ranch using this webform.
(Image courtesy of Victor Moussa via Shutterstock)
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About the author
Robert Haynes is a retired Army infantryman who has a squad of kids and is married to an active duty Soldier. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, who spent his last few years in the Army as a Drill Sergeant. He is now a full-time dad, freelance writer, and out-of-work comedian.