The New England Center for Homeless Veterans (NECHV) extends a helping hand to any homeless veteran facing the challenges of addiction, trauma, severe and persistent mental illness, and unemployment; however, the veterans must be committed to sobriety, nonviolence and working for personal change. The organization is located in Boston, and though most clients are from the Boston area, the NECHV has aided veterans from all 50 states. Homeless veterans seeking help should go to 17 Court Street, any time of the day or night, and request assistance. Veteran status will be verified through the discharge form (DD214).
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) offers a wealth of resources-some of which have been featured in this column before-for the military community and offers many programs for the public to support its freedom fighters. One of the classic ways the organization enables citizens to reach out to warfighters is through its gift cards and exchange catalog gift certificates. Anyone can purchase these items and send them to a specific military member or designate them for any service member, including injured warriors, for distribution by a service organization. AAFES is offering free shipping on the cards as well to avoid extra costs.
Patriot Paws trains dogs to work with injured military members and other disabled persons to help restore physical and emotional freedoms. The organization provides high-quality service dogs for the minimum possible price to those who need them. Any physically disabled U.S. veteran or other American with mobile disabilities can apply for a Patriot Paws service dog by downloading the application form online or requesting one by mail. The necessary contact information is listed on the Web site. When an application is accepted, applicants are interviewed, and the organization makes every effort to find a compatible pet.
Military HOMEFRONT is the official U.S. Defense Department online resource for reliable quality-of-life information for the military community. The site has sections for troops and families, leadership and service providers so all aspects of military life are covered, from basic military needs to broader topics such as parenting and financial readiness. Troops can obtain information about various subjects, including permanent change of station moves as well as legislation and policies. The site also links to other organizations prevalent in the military community and explains special offers available to those who serve their country.
Creating Futures offers transitioning U.S. veterans as well as individuals with disabilities, at-risk youth and dislocated workers opportunities to build careers in the information technology field. Creating Futures works with employers to identify needs and then trains individuals to fill those capabilities gaps, placing candidates in long-term jobs. The education and training programs help students obtain the technical, business and communications skills employers want.