A “safe-haven” of transitional living in a supportive sober living community of Veterans.

While Welcome Home Ministries has served Veterans who suffer from alcohol and drug addictions for many years, we successfully launched a new avenue of outreach to Veterans in a collaborative partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs in January 2011.

We converted an entire transitional housing recovery residence to accommodate Veterans’ needs. We designed our Veterans’ recovery support program as a mirror image of our recovery program for non-Veterans: All residents must abstain from alcohol and drugs and are subject to the same requirements as other recovery support clients in transitional housing recovery residences.

When we first envisioned establishing an exclusive recovery residence to provide recovery support services for Veterans who suffer from alcohol and drug addictions, we created a “Safe-haven” for Veterans who were awaiting treatment in an alcohol and drug treatment facility (a waiting period of about 4 weeks, due to high demand for treatment). We anticipated that the majority of Veterans awaiting treatment would exit our recovery housing to enter an alcohol and drug treatment facility authorized by the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, the overwhelming majority of Veterans responded so well to our recovery support program that most of our clients “stabilized” during the waiting period and did not need further alcohol and drug stabilization requiring hospitalization.

Many of our Veteran residents have mental health disorders, like “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” (PTSD), and/or co-occurring illnesses.  Veterans, who participate in our recovery support program, are closely monitored and treated as necessary by health care professionals. Nevertheless, the reduced need for alcohol and drug stabilization in an alcohol and drug treatment facility not only reduces health care related treatment costs for the Department of Veterans Affairs, it also allows Veterans who participate in our program to move further down the road towards successful long-term recovery, healing and wholeness in a sober living community.

Also, WHM is instrumental in helping Veterans in our recovery program find gainful employment, as we have successfully developed collaborative partnerships with several employment entities and agencies to encourage job placement.

Additionally, once sustainable sobriety and financial sustainability are achieved, we work closely with the Department of Veterans Affairs to assist a smooth transition in helping Veterans obtain permanent housing through programs like the “Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing” (VASH) program and other appropriate avenues of support leading to permanent housing for Veterans.

We continue to work with the Department of Veterans Affairs to seek other avenues of support for Veterans seeking recovery from alcohol and drug addictions.