Begun in 1988, the Veterans Re-Entry Program provides transitional housing for homeless Veterans having difficulties re-entering society because of post-traumatic stress syndrome or substance abuse or other problems. Funded under a contract with the Veterans Administration, and located at St. Francis House’s Elm Street location, the program provides a therapeutic setting for homeless Veterans, including the services of counseling, transitional housing, meals, laundry, and activities.
Upon arrival, clients’ personal needs are assessed, and, if needed, they are provided personal items of soap, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. The average stay is 3 months but can be as long as 2 years. Veterans participate in various training groups 4 days a week, including life skills.
Those unable to work are assisted with securing other types of income, such as VA pension or disability. All residents are required to save 75% of their income to secure permanent housing. Once their savings are sufficient, they are assisted in finding housing. Outside activities are provided for the Veterans, including bowling, movies or going out to eat, and “game nights” are organized periodically.
Able Veterans are required to seek employment. Assistance with employment is provided by a Veterans Administrations employee and from our Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP). HVRP staff work closely with the VA Day Treatment Center and the Arkansas Workforce Center, This program is provided by a grant from the US Department of Labor, Veterans’ Employment and Training (VETS).
Homeless Veterans and Veterans who are about to become homeless can also assess our Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program (SSVF). Veterans who qualify may receive financial aid to regain housing or can be assisted with rent, utility bills, to maintain their housing. This program is funded by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.