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February 28, 2015

Readers Write – The Journey Home

As Director of Outreach for The Journey Home and a disabled U.S. Army Veteran, I was once homeless battling alcoholism. I now have three years of sobriety. Some little known and appalling facts regarding veterans are that 22 veterans take their own life each day, 23 percent of the homeless population is veterans, 47 percent of the veteran homeless population is Viet Nam veterans and 89 percent were honorably discharged.

At this time, The Journey Home is not allowed to be in the “Per Diem” program offered by the Veterans Administration due to that program being closed to new facilities in the past few years. In fact, some of the “Per Diem” homes are titled as “Harm Reduction Home,” which means that the veteran can drink and use drugs at a facility paid for by the taxpayer and others are “Sober Living Homes.” We are a “Sober Living Home,” totally reliant on private funding. We have been blessed with several donations and we’re very thankful for them by churches, groups, communities and individuals, but we are always in need of donations to guarantee that we will be viable for the long term. Our home serves East Central Indiana and West Central Ohio, however any veteran is welcome. We have requested and are working diligently to get funding at the federal and state level from Indiana and Ohio.

We are proud to offer a wide array of services to the veteran, to include but not limited to, assistance with VA benefits, transportation to the VA, resume building, job search, counseling, nurse on staff, 24 hour supervision by house manager, access to various forms of recovery from alcoholism, drug addiction, PTSD and mental health issues, to name but a few of our services, all at no cost to the veterans. Our goal is that when the veteran completes our program, he will be a responsible member of society, living a structured life, in lieu of being a burden. We request a six month commitment from the veteran and he can stay for two years all at no charge to the veteran.

Please join with us by funding our life changing mission for veterans to never leave a comrade behind on the battlefield or when they come home. Please contact your state and federal representatives in support of The Journey Home. These men answered our nation’s call and some have witnessed the horrors of battle, of which no person should ever see. Honor these men and all veterans by supporting The Journey Home! I will leave you with one sobering statistic and question, 22 veterans will take their own lives today. Did you do everything you could to help our veterans in need today?

Kirby DeHaven

The Journey Home

Winchester, Ind.

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