Wounded Warriors are a specific concern for Operation Homefront. Service members disabled from injuries return home where they are discharged from service, have to vacate base housing and have to wait for their VA compensation to begin. Most of them experience a 50-75% cut in pay and their spouse may need to leave work to care for them. This can quickly put severe financial strain on their families as it may take months for their benefits to kick in.
As a result, our young veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are at risk of becoming homeless if programs are not put into place to help these service members transition back into civilian life while keeping some stability for their families. That is why Operation Homefront has established the Operation Homefront Transitional Housing Program. Wounded warrior families can apply for the program by downloading this form.
Operation Homefront's Transitional Housing Program allows these service members to live rent free while they go through the transition process. Upon placement, Operation Homefront counselors set up a mandatory schedule that these service members, veterans and their families must follow. They are required to attend support groups, workshops, benefits briefings, and resume writing classes, as determined by their counselor. They also undergo one-on-one financial counseling to reduce debt and build savings. OH counselors meet with each military family every 30 days to review their financial situation, determine where they are in the transition process, review their attendance in the required workshops and classes, and determine their ability to live on their own. Once they have become self-sufficient, OH counselors help them find suitable housing in the area they intend to live on a permanent basis. Upon completion of the program, veterans and their families should have VA benefits in place, debt significantly reduced and emergency savings in place.
Our properties are fully furnished, complete with full utility services, internet access, cable TV, and telephone service. Our comfortable apartments have all the typical features of home.
Operation Homefront currently operates its program in three locations across the country:
If you would like more information about our Transitional Housing Program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Woodley Family: A Success Story
U.S. Army Sergeant Eric Woodley comes from a family of veterans. After watching the towers fall in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he knew he needed to join the military.
“If I don’t go, who is going to fight for all our freedom,” said Woodley.
He served four years in the Marines and deployed on two Marine Expeditionary Unit. After his first term was up, Woodley went into the Army and deployed to Iraq in 2008.
After coming home from his deployment, Woodley felt fine, but as time went on, he started to notice he wasn’t the same. He was eventually diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress-disorder and is currently going through the Medical Evaluation Board.
During a briefing with his first sergeant and platoon sergeant, Woodley was asked about his finances. If he was able to finish his term in the Army, Woodley would be debt free by the end. However, with an unexpected medical separation, he’d be in a bad spot financially, so they referred him to Operation Homefront for help.
Operation Homefront was able to put Woodley in temporary rent-free transitional housing, at the Operation Homefront Village, saving him money that can be used to pay down his debt and put himself in a better position for life after the military. Not only does living at the Village save Woodley money, but it also offers access to a debt counselor which he says is very helpful.
Woodley’s family is also enjoying living in the village. They are close enough to Fort Sam Houston to take advantage of the commissary and the schools on base. By the time they leave the Village, their debt should be manageable, so the relief of that stress is helping the family to better cope with the PTSD as well as the transition out of the military.
“Thank you,” said Woodley. “I know so many people out there support out troops, but it’s so different when you can see that someone actually cares enough to help us out.”
Helping Caregivers Too
Operation Homefront also has a program for caregivers called Hearts of Valor. Operation Homefront’s Hearts of ValorTM program is a network of caregivers of wounded, ill or injured service members. Through empathy and mutual understanding Operation Homefront created this community to connect and support each other as your lives are forever changed by the wounds of war, seen and unseen. Find out more at www.heartsofvalor.org.