November 11, 2015
No one should be homeless, especially the men and women who have voluntarily sacrificed of themselves through military service to our country. Sadly, San Diego County is home to one of the largest populations of homeless veterans in the country. Interfaith Community Services believes this is unacceptable, and has grown to become the largest provider of housing, employment, counseling, recovery, and self-empowerment services for struggling veterans in North San Diego County. Last year, we helped more than 1,000 veterans rebuild their lives and families.
“I had been on and off the streets for more than three years. I had no idea how to get out of the place I was at,” recounts Jemel, one of Interfaith’s Veteran Assistance Program graduate. “When I came to Interfaith, they greeted me at the door, and told me, ‘You can leave your bags here. You won’t need them anymore.’”
Interfaith moved Jemel off the streets and directly into an apartment he shared with other recently homeless veterans who were also rebuilding their lives. Through job training provided by Interfaith, Jemel earned an advanced security certification and secured a job providing a livable wage. Building savings as he worked, he has now moved into his own apartment, which brings with it the ultimate reward: reconnecting with his children. Jemel sums it up, “I’m back to my original belief, that I can do anything.”
In addition to the Veterans Assistance Program, Interfaith leads a partnership network that links together dozens of nonprofit service providers, governmental organizations, faith groups, law enforcement, healthcare, and business leaders to more effectively empower homeless veterans to permanently end their homelessness and reach their highest level of success. We understand that it takes an entire community of interconnected, caring people to fully support and help the thousands of veterans who have served our country.
Interfaith’s newest development is the Hawthorne Veteran & Family Resource Center. With the support of HomeAid San Diego, Interfaith purchased and renovated an old office-medical building in Escondido, which now provides recuperative care for up to 20 homeless veterans who are being discharged from the local VA Hospital. This program has proven highly successful, empowering more than 70% of the veterans served to achieve housing and medical stability.
Our success is only possible through widespread community support. Volunteers are integral to every Interfaith program. Visit our website to learn about volunteer opportunities, or to provide a gift to help our nation’s heroes return to self-sufficiency.
Interfaith Community Services is pleased to work with HomeAid San Diego to expand veteran resources in North San Diego County. Through our partnership, Interfaith can provide housing and care for 136 homeless veterans each night. We look forward to continue working in partnership with HomeAid San Diego and their supporters, this Veterans Day and beyond, so that together we can empower our nation’s heroes. Thank you all for your support and partnership!
Yours in Service,
Executive Director, Cohn Family Executive Director’s Chair