In 2007, when the U.S. government introduced new initiatives to address homelessness, the data showed that it was a bigger problem than had been anticipated. Data obtained from the National Alliance to End Homelessness revealed that in 2018 there were 552,830 individuals without housing on any given night. Of those, almost 38,000 were veterans. Most of the homeless population were found in large and medium size cities where more services are available and there is a greater possibility of finding a job.
Complex factors contribute to homelessness – an extreme shortage of affordable housing, limited access to health care, and a lack of jobs that provide a livable income. Veterans face additional challenges, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse which may be compounded by a lack of family and social support networks. Jobs may be difficult to find because skills learned during military training may not be transferable to the civilian workplace, making those veterans less able to compete for employment.
Programs like Veterans Northeast Outreach Center (VNOC) focus on the top priorities for homeless veterans. In addition to safe, secure, drug and alcohol-free housing, VNOC provides educational services and other advocacy programs.
CNA is a Service-Disabled Veteran owned business that is committed to social support efforts, including veteran-specific causes. CEO Rob DiFazio collaborated with VNOC to develop a plan for an endowment that will accept contributions from businesses, both local and national. The short-term goal is to enlist members of the business community who are willing to make a commitment to donate $25,000 annually, with a three-year goal of $3.3 to $5 million. Interest from the endowment will be used to fund the development of facilities to house and serve homeless veterans. CNA Stores has committed to contribute $25,000 annually for the next five years.
Both veterans and non-veterans will benefit from this housing initiative. Veterans will have access to safe housing and support services that are designed to meet their unique needs. At the same time, beds will be freed up in civilian facilities for non-veterans who also need housing and other support services.
CNA Stores is proud to support this crucial service. We encourage businesses to contribute to this endowment to honor and support the men and women who have served.
To become involved, contact John Ford at firstname.lastname@example.org.