Too Little – Too Late – 7300 Homeless Veterans, 40 Beds

New Program Aims to Give Homeless

Vets a New Start

A new program aimed at whittling down the 7,300 veterans living on Washington’s streets and in its forests is nearing its start date in South Kitsap.

Forty veterans at a time will participate in a homeless veterans transition program on the Washington Veterans Home campus, where they’ll be supervised, kept busy looking for jobs, and given help with any addiction and mental health problems they may have. The goal is for them to find a job and their own place to live.

Meanwhile, participants will be allowed to stay for up to two years in a 78-year-old brick building that became vacant three years ago when residents moved into a new $47 million skilled nursing facility. They’ll share a room at first, then move into private quarters.

Oldtimer’s Comment:  7,300 homeless, 40 beds every 2 years, shared rooms, ancient building.   Lets do the math   7300/40 = 1 bed per 182 homeless Heroes, served every 2 years.  Ok, a start.  A pitifull one at best.    1 bed per 182 homeless Heroes – gonna be a bit crowded.  “Shared room” has an entirely new meaning. 

The facility, with $500,000 of renovations, is expected to open within the next two months, said Ray Switzer, who was hired by the state Department of Veterans Affairs to get the program up and running.

Me Again:  To be clear, the $47 million skilled nursing facility is a 240 bed Veterans Nursing Home completed in 2005.   I think that is wonderful.  My problem is that we spent $195,000 per bed for those residents but the spending for our Homelees Heroes is only $12,500 per bed.  Our homeless heroes get the short end of every funding allocation there is, in this case,  94 to 1.  What makes a down-and-out veteran worth so much less than another?

“The decision was made that we shouldn’t let this thing fall down,” Switzer said of 36,000-square-foot Building 9. “There are too many veterans out there who need assistance.”

Applicants will be referred from Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals in Seattle and Tacoma and local agencies. Switzer estimates there are 1,500 to 2,000 homeless veterans in Kitsap County.

 So locally, the ratio is about 1 bed for each 50 homeless local veterans.  Lots of men and women Heroes sleeping in the woods tonight, thousands of them.   Winter is coming folks.  

Our Homeless Heroes deserve better treatment than this! 

 What makes a down-and-out veteran worth so much less than another?

 Lack of a a Voice. 

Your Voice. 

Speak up, America!





3 responses to “Too Little – Too Late – 7300 Homeless Veterans, 40 Beds

  1. What’s even worse is all the forced religious 12 steps, never ending groups, worthless life skill classes, stuck with absolutely poor people who are not allowed to get real job training for living wage jobs. And after the two years are up-back to the streets to start it all over again. Sad but true!

  2. Kudos to Mr. Bush (who went above and beyond for me) and the Red Team at the BirminghamVA Hospital
    I dragged my homeless self to the VA today for a checkup. Since my VA ID says HOMELESS for address the attending physician felt compelled to make me see their social worker there in the hospital there. Now I have been through this before at another VA hospital, but did not want to break this doctors heart since he is a young doc and is saving the world, so I went along with it. Now me and and this cagy social worker were looking across the desk from each other and I said “All you have to offer me is a bed in a place full of crack heads and court ordereds right?” and she said “Oh you have been through this this before-huh?” and I said “yeah but I am just making the doctor happy.” The other place I was offered was a 14 day lock down at some work house with forced religious services. We left it at that. Incarcerated inmates have more civil rights than a homeless veteran. Listen Homeless Veterans, do not expect help from social services or the veterans administration for anything other than medical assistance. You have to provide for yourselves. You have to make it happen!

  3. Why does the VA system operate like this. I bet the VA never asks the homeless veteran what they need. Its all the same for all- alcohol treatment and those groups. Why not change and make it good housing, learn a trade, and job.

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