Veterans Program® and its computer training lab will follow. The Hope for Veterans Program® opened in 2004 as the largest transitional housing facility in New Jersey for homeless veterans,
both servicemen and women.
J. Michael Armstrong, Community Hope Executive Director, said the event was planned to coincide with the national Veterans Day holiday. “As our nation celebrates Veterans Day this month, we hope to heighten awareness of the plight of homeless veterans in New Jersey,” he explained. “Our residents have experienced repeated homelessness as far back as their service in Vietnam. It is an incredible challenge to break that lengthy cycle but these veterans are succeeding in the program and experiencing hope for the first time in many years. The opening of this new wing enables us to help more veterans turn their lives around.”
Armstrong attributed the program’s success to its full range of on-site support services that help veterans address issues of alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness, poverty and despair.
He attributed the innovative collaboration between his nonprofit organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for making the program possible. Hope for Veterans is housed in a formerly-vacant building on the Lyons VA Campus in Bernards Township, NJ, which Community Hope secured nearly $450,000 to renovate. Veterans can reside at the transitional housing program for up to two years, where they can access on-campus VA health services and job opportunities in addition to the support they receive from Community Hope’s on-site case managers and job coaches.
The expansion of the Hope for Veterans Program was made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and a grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
In addition, contributors to the 2007 Flag Day 5K Run, sponsored by the Somerset Hills YMCA and the VA New Jersey Health Care System, raised $23,000 toward the new wing.
Community Hope operates one of the largest residential programs for young adults, homeless veterans and individuals with mental illness in New Jersey. The nonprofit organization serves 270 individuals with residential programs under development to serve as many as 300 individuals in recovery by 2008.
Information on the Hope for Veterans Program® and referring homeless veterans is available on-line at www.commmunityhope-nj.org
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