New Directions for Veterans Site Visit
Members of the board of directors paid a July 23 site visit to MVAT Foundation beneficiary charity New Directions for Veterans Inc. Located on the grounds of the Veterans Administration campus in LA’s Brentwood neighborhood, New Directions has provided long-term drug and alcohol treatment, food, shelter, support and rehabilitation to Veterans since 1992. More than 1,000 Veterans each year participate in New Directions’ programs at the VA center, through outreach, and at three Transitional Housing treatment centers.
President and CEO Gregory C. Scott noted that New Directions for Veterans was achieving program successes where the Veterans Administration had failed – a critical need in Los Angeles County, where more than 4,000 Veterans are living on the streets, a 12 percent increase since 2013.
Beginning with one small house in 1992, today New Directions operates four Transitional Housing Programs, a rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention program called Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), and four Permanent Supportive
Housing (PSH) facilities in the Los Angeles County areas of Sepulveda, El Monte, and Glendale. A new facility is expected to open in East Los Angeles in 2016. The Glendale apartments are designated for families, while the East Los Angeles units will be for senior Veterans, aged 55 years and older.
Due to underlying mental health issues and/or substance abuse, a return to the streets is always an issue with programs to end homelessness. By focusing on substance abuse treatment, counseling for psychological, PTS, and moral injury issues, New Directions for Veterans is able to boast that 95 percent of all Veterans who entered into permanent supportive housing are still off the streets.
On May 1, New Directions for Veterans opened a 20-bed Accelerated Re-Housing Center (ARC). This program originated as a 10-bed pilot offered by the Veterans Administration to provide assistance to Veterans as a “bridge” between homelessness and housing while they await their HUD-VA Supportive Housing voucher. Since opening, the community has filled to its 20-bed capacity.
Special thanks for an enlightening visit go to Richard Caines, New Directions for Veterans Vice President for Veteran Programs and to Molly Ann Mroczynski, Chief Development Officer.