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.
Speak up, America!