Elks National Veterans Service Commission 
January Newsletter
The Launch of the Welcome Home Program!
After discussion, preparation and with much excitement, we are happy to finally launch the Welcome Home Program! Together, we can end veteran homelessness.

The program has five main components.
  • Welcome Home Kits
  • Adopt-a-Veteran
  • Elks Emergency Assistance Program
  • Elks Housing Navigators
  • Awareness Campaign
The Elks Emergency Assistance Program, designed to help prevent homelessness and to support veterans in need of one-time assistance, will be handled out of the Chicago office.

For the awareness campaign, we're counting on you to spread the word to friends and neighbors. Talk about the issue of veteran homelessness, and how the Elks are helping. Encourage your friends, neighbors and family members to get involved. Share these videos
 
Be a local advocate. Encourage business owners to hire a homeless veteran. Help find affordable housing for veterans making the transition. Talk to local landlords about the benefits of renting to a veteran . Together, we can end veteran homelessness. Read more below on how your Lodge can get started today!    
Welcome Home Kits

Most
formerly homeless veterans move into their homes with nothing. Elks can help veterans establish their homes by building Welcome Home Kits .
 
Here's how it works. Elks gather the kit materials and notify the ENVSC when it is complete. If needed, a Lodge can submit a reimbursement request of up to $200 for supplies. ( Supplies may vary, and can be new or used, donated or purchased.)

When a Lodge submits a Welcome Home Kit Form, the ENVSC will match the Lodge with a veteran moving into a new home.

Access the form here

Elks Housing Navigators

Elks members interested in providing at least 15 hours of service a month to homeless veterans seeking assistance at VA facilities can sign up to be Elks Housing Navigators .
 
These volunteers will act as mentors and friends to help homeless veterans tackle their challenges, find a home and become integrated into the community.
 
Similar to VAVS Reps, training and support will be provided by the local VA and by the ENVSC.

Sign up today by emailing Vets@elks.org.
Adopt-a-Veteran

The Adopt-a-Veteran program can be adapted to serve homeless veterans, too.

Once a veteran is home, it can be difficult to change habits and transition from a life on the street. Veterans may need assistance with independent living and home care skills such as budgeting, opening bank accounts, cooking, cleaning, job seeking and assistance dealing with landlords.

Efforts should be focused on helping veterans become independent and integrated into the community.

Visit the Adopt-a-Veteran webpage for details.
Stay Informed
Volunteers of America is a national nonprofit dedicated to serving the people most in need. What most people don't know is that they have a strong outreach program for veterans, which includes housing assistance, reintegration programs, supportive services, mentoring programs and more. Learn more on their webpage. Then, search to see if there's a location near you.  
Forward this email to Lodge members and friends and invite them to sign up here
Stay Connected



Questions? Contact us at 773-755-4736 or Vets@elks.org. Elk photo