Homeless Vets? Not Again!

Video from Life & Times

This story takes place in Los Angeles.  It is the story of homeless veterans helped by  New Directions, a non-profit organization that focuses on treatment on substance abuse.  It includes interviews with veterans with a form of  PTSD unique to Iraq and Afghanistan and also an extensive interview with the director of New Directions who explains that they receive $28.00 a day for each veteran but spend $60.00 a day to treat them – funds made up elsewhere.  So far they have treated over 5000 veterans.

The link takes you to the Life & Times blog site.  Read the reporter’s notes – they are important to the story.  Then watch the video.  Homeless Vets? Not Again!


Homeless Vets Title 

Click on the link above or on the screen to see video


8 responses to “Homeless Vets? Not Again!

  1. New Directions is actually a failure. The entire program is the forced 12 step religion. If the veteran does not believe in that religion they are thrown to the streets (so much to the respect and dignity). This is the truth. The graduates of the program ( the ones who don’t get a monthly check in the mail) cycle in-and-out because they don’t get any living wage jobs. The success model is any dead-end job will do and that’s what you have to take. It’s just more of the insane treatment the veterans have to be tramatized with in their search for meaning. That place needs to be closed ASAP!

  2. I was there for a month and NO MONEY WAS SPENT on me. Everything is donated. Rotten food, shared showers, beds made for 6 year olds, 12 step religion forced down your throat until you burst, and on and on. I had to leave back to live on the beach. There was no help at all. Real Housing, Real Job Training, and the Real Careers!

  3. August, I was afraid of that. That is why I just reported the story with almost no comments.

    Your input will be a valuable addition. No one should be forced into jumping through hoops to get help. I understand rules established to keep order and peace, but there are limits that make a difference to those seeking help.

    I also understand that privately funded programs are often funded by religious organizations and they set the agenda in return for whatever they think their mission is. There is not much can be done about it except shine as much light on the problem as possible.

    I’ve written before about the difference beteween religious vs secular privately funded programs. Secular has won out for many of the reasons you mentioned above. The secular mission is often to serve the homeless rather than to serve the agenda of the donars. The bad secular ones are the ones that live on and profit from grant money and I know there are too many of those out there too.

    Many private agencies do depend on donars for food and upkeep of facilities. As Wanderingvet commented to you recently, there is some rolling with some of the punches needed to get out of the hole. I will take bad food and a shower any day to keep from living behind a trash bin, but I won’t be humulated or bribed.

    I will look for other programs that do not force “12 step religion” on people needing help – take-it-or-leave-it style and try to report them here. Even though I am a religious person myself.

    Don’t give up. There are other places to select from.

    Bless you for your comments.


  4. They never asked me what my religion was; I was expected to convert to theirs. I was forced to attend their AA meetings and I don’t even drink; they said I will eventually! Still living at the beach but going to Santa Monica CC and am saving all my grants and loans and made it on the president’s list 3.76 gpa. When veterans say they only need housing and training- they really mean that and nothing else!

  5. …..Not living on the beach anymore; student loan pays for a real nice studio by the beach. And to the new directions staff…I still do not drink!

  6. August, you described New Directions to a “T”. I believe the veterans are fresh out of prison and have to do everything the are told and to believe in 12 step or it it back to prison. The program hides all its failures by classifying everything under “privacy” of the veterans. It is a very religious program and also a complete failure. All the staff talks about is “Higher Power” and how to get more money. How do I know this? I worked there for three months and got out asap, those poor veterans have to go through that jail set-up. It is a jail.

  7. Kelly, I was there for 11 days in their “DETOX” program. I had nothing in my system to detox from. No respect or dignity. I told them from the start I was homeless and the reason why was because of poverty, nothing else….DENIAL! I told them I desparately I needed training for a career…DENIAL! I left after telling Toni Reines that New Directions is a wacked-out religious cult slavery operation and needs to be exposed. I left and after three more months of living on the Santa Monica beach my pell grant and student loans came through and almost have my AS and am transfering to SF State. If I would of stayed at ND I’d be a vegetable right now, still homeless, still waiting to be approved for SSI, shouting quirkey sayings like “one day at a time, put the cotton in you mouth, I can’t live on life’s terms, my best thinking….” , and worse of all I’d be an alcoholic and meth addict in never-ending group therapy!!

  8. Is it really all drug & alcohol being blamed for the homeless veterans? Boy have they really messed with the veterans now. The VA will classify that as a mental disorder and tell and release that info to anybody with or without permission. They are doing this to the veterans. Now I see it. This is because treatment is a big business nowdays, like a cash cow. This is alarming, The veterans need a trade and a good place to live. That is it. I bet a lot of people are getting very wealthy off this scam.

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