Help for Homeless Veterans — Social Work Professionals

Help for Homeless Veterans — Social Work Professionals

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NARRATOR: Veteran homelessness:
It’s a complex issue with a variety of contributing
factors. Several people in the community are in a
position to help Veterans who are homeless or at risk of
homelessness… and you are one of them. OSBORNE: I guess the first night
of being homeless and out there all alone was like, “How did I
end up here?” PALMORE: I didn’t have anywhere
to call home, so that’s when I realized, yeah, you meet
the definition of homeless because you have a child and you
don’t have anywhere to go. NARRATOR: Homelessness often
play a role in Veterans’ encounters with social
services personnel. Early identification can help
change a Veteran’s life. PHILLIP: A lot of social
workers have a lack of knowledge about the VA system as well as
the Veterans, so they’re not very educated as to ask that
question. But it’s a very important question to ask. PALMORE: The one thing that I
can remember that definitely got me on the path to
getting help is when I hooked up with my social worker, and
she tried her best to help me. Even now I still feel
like, you know, somebody’s guardian angel, you know, sent
her to me to say, “She’s going to help you. She’s going to
make a difference.” And she did. Now people care.
There’s somebody that’s paying attention and
cares. NARRATOR: Although you may not
recognize them as a Veteran, you probably encounter Veterans
everyday as a social worker. Taking the time to ask if they
served in the military can make a difference in their
care and in their lives. OSBORNE: Had anybody asked
me had I ever served time in the military, you know, that quite
possibly would have made a difference. Because if they had
asked me that question, I could’ve told them, “Listen, I
served in the United States Army.” PHILLIP: : Social workers
should ask the question: Are they military? And are they
recieving VA benefits? I have been educating social
workers to ask people are they military? And it’s
very important because a lot of them don’t know that they can
recieve VA benefits or the can even go to the VA. NARRATOR: If you encounter a
Veteran who is homeless or at risk of homelessness take
action. Call 1-877-424-3838, chat online
at va.gov/homeless, or make a
referral to your local VA medical center. PHILLIP: The VA offers a lot of
services to Veterans that are extremely helpful to the
Veterans, such as substance abuse; they offer individual as
well as group therapy; they offer PTSD inpatient and
outpatient; they offer HUD-VASH housing,
which is a housing program. They also give the Veteran a
social worker to help them in their
process. PALMORE: Whenever we’re in the
car and my son asks me, “Are we going home,
Mommy?”, you know the best feeling is being able
to tell him, “Yes, baby.”  ♪ MUSIC ♪  

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