Thank you, Jessica Gholson, for joining me on the Born To Talk Radio Show Podcast. Jessica is the Program Director, for U.S. VETS-Inglewood, California.
To start with, Jessica comes from a military family. Her father served in the U.S. Army, along with 3 of her siblings, and her late uncle. She tells a poignant story about her dad and what the military meant to him. Six months before her father passed he shared with her how proud he was to serve our country. This was a defining moment for her. In this case, Jessica knew she wanted to give back to the veteran community and joined forces with U.S. VETS-Inglewood to do just that.
U.S.VETS is the leading nonprofit on a mission to end veteran homelessness in the United States.
U.S.VETS-Inglewood is the inaugural U.S.VETS site. Their mission is the successful transition of military veterans and their families through the provision of housing, counseling, career development, and comprehensive support.
They opened in 1993 with only five clients. Today the location operates over 600 beds of transitional and permanent housing. Employment Services are provided through a workforce program that helps over 100 veterans return to employment each year. Additionally, over 300 veteran family households are provided rapid re-housing and homeless prevention services. Their banner says it all, Heroes Live Here.
Their services include housing, workforce development, mental health and wellness, and individualized support.
Here is what they have done during this pandemic year when the need has even greater. As a result of their tireless work, veterans have had so far, 61,881 bed nights. There have been 66,706 meals served. 80 were placed into jobs. 608 have been engaged by outreach. As of now, there have been 2,443 mental health assessments. And lastly, 495 within homeless prevention have been provided rapid-rehousing. I encourage you to visit their website to learn more.
Meet Kevin Kincey. He is an Air Force Veteran that served from 1983-1990. After he left the military, he spent 8 years caring for his grandmother. Before she passed, Kevin became homeless. He discovered U.S. VETS Inglewood through the outreach team and entered the program. Kevin was at U.S.VETS Inglewood for 6 months and then transitioned into long-term supportive housing. He kept in close contact with his Case Manager. After attending a U.S. VETS-Inglewood alumni group, he obtained a part-time position as a Veteran Service Assistant.
Kevin has since been employed at U.S. VETS-Inglewood for the past 22 years. He has successfully grown with the organization and was promoted to Progam Manager in 2019. Kevin truly believes in helping serve those who have served like himself. Kevin, on the left, is pictured with Andrew Shelton a Korean War Veteran that went through the Specialized Treatment for Optimized Programming, STOP.
How can you help?
There is a donate page on their website. For volunteer opportunities, check this link. Don’t hesitate to locate a U.S.VET organization where you live. Currently, there are over 32 sites nationwide. Together, we can make a difference.
In closing. Perhaps like me, you too have had a family member that has served our country. Thank you for all that currently serve, have retired, and those of you that are no longer with us, including my dad.
Thank you Jessica for the wonderful work you and your team are doing!
Conversations + Connections = Community