Veterans

Catholic Charities Veteran Services helps veterans and their families who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness find stable housing and provides ongoing case management that includes financial planning, assistance applying for VA benefits, emergency assistance and more.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Veterans Services Staff Embody Perseverance and Teamwork

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When it comes to knowledge and connections, Joe Goitia and Andrew Harvey of the Veterans Services team in Flagstaff, Ariz. are on-point. Local to Northern Arizona and experienced in the outdoors, these staff know the terrain well and have strong relationships with community partners.

Catholic Charities’ Veterans Services program, which assists veterans and veteran families in obtaining housing and resources for stability, is actually made up of a few programs which address different needs. Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), Joe’s program, has an income limit and a specific spending limit for each client.

Working Together to Stabilize Vulnerable Veterans

Andrew’s program is TIP (Transition in Place). Although the differences between SSVF and TIP don’t affect clients for the most part, a major distinction is that TIP does not have an income limit. This is because, for veterans with a service-connected disability (a disability resulting from military service), the benefits they receive often put them over the income limit to qualify for SSVF. Without TIP, these veterans would be unable to receive assistance that could prevent homelessness.

Both SSVF and TIP work together to review referrals from the community and place clients in the appropriate Veterans Services program. These programs then help veterans, and their families secure permanent housing and receive rental assistance. Joe and Andrew walk alongside their clients through the entire process, also helping with move-in costs and providing home goods.

“It’s a lot of choices and keeping the client at the middle of those decisions. It’s following our mission to offer permanent solutions when we’re just a little piece of the client’s life,” Joe added.

Addressing Individual Needs Through Community Resources

Joe and Andrew are always trying to balance the needs of their clients with the resources they can offer. If a client needs a birth certificate or driver’s license to apply for a job, for example, case managers can work with community partners to obtain these documents. Additionally, they work closely with the VA (Veterans Administration) and organizations like Disabled American Veterans (DAV) to fill gaps in services, such as getting clients to and from medical appointments.

It’s clear that Joe and Andrew’s team mentality and passion for collaboration fuel their success. With the limited availability of housing in Northern Arizona, their connections are key to getting veterans housed. Recently, they have been able to build a connection with a local apartment complex that contacts the Veterans Services team when a listing becomes available and reserves it for a client to move into.

Housing a Veteran Family in Need

Although housing searches prove difficult, Joe and Andrew’s efforts pay off when they see what clients can do once they’re housed. In January 2022, the team was able to house a family who had two little girls with developmental and health conditions. Finding a three-bedroom rental that had space for their medical equipment was nearly impossible, but the team persevered and got the family housed.

“Being able to see what [the veterans] are able to do once we finally get them housed and seeing the families blossom afterwards,” is what motivates Andrew to continue finding permanent solutions for veterans.

If you want to help those who have served our country find stability, you can donate items from the comfort of your home by checking out our SSVF Amazon Wish List.

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