by Allison Black
UUFP is a long-time partner with the Living Interfaith Network (LINK) in LINK’s efforts to break the cycle of poverty in Hampton Roads. We share the proceeds of our collection basket with LINK every third Sunday and volunteer our time with LINK’s emergency overnight shelter program (PORT) each year. LINK is currently providing housing assistance to several male military veterans through its CANLINK program. LINK’s website provides the following information about CANLINK:
“CANLINK I, II and III provides permanent supportive housing to homeless adults with disabilities, but includes children when the adults have been accepted into the housing program(s). CANLINK provides on-going case management, in-home, or at LINK and other community sites, dependent upon the type of services the clients are receiving. One/one case management and individualized service/case plans developed at entry by the case manager and the client(s) help to assist both the client(s) and case manager(s) in knowing what hurdles the client has to overcome as they begin to work towards self-sufficiency. CANLINK III places and works only with Hampton/Newport News Drug Court participants. CANLINK I and II places chronically homeless and homeless individuals and families into suitable housing units dependent upon household size/number of persons in the household(s).
The target populations must meet HUD criteria, that is to be an adult of at least 18 years of age, one of the adults in the household to meet the disability criteria set forth by HUD and be chronically homeless if single and be homeless if family(s) with children. The target population usually suffers some form of mental/physical disability, HIV/AIDS infected/affected or terminally ill. The activities include weekly in-home case management when first entering to every two weeks, to once per month as the clients stabilize and do not need such intensive in-home case management. Volunteers assist staff with the very basics of housekeeping, money management, budgeting, and other service providers provide ancillary services to compliment each individuals case plan, other providers may work in the client’s home or at a local interfaith fellowship hall or kitchen in groups with the CANLINK clients. Current staff will continue to manage the cases of each individual/family unit of service.”
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans estimates that veterans comprise approximately 13% of the adult homeless population. Homeless veterans are predominantly male, single, and African-American or Hispanic. Most have some form of mental illness, substance addiction, or both. Homeless veterans are also disproportionately younger than the general population of veterans, with 9% between the ages of 18-30 and 41% between the ages of 31 and 50.
UUFP will hold a special service this coming Sunday, November 10, in observance of Veteran’s Day. As we honor the veterans in our congregation and the other areas of our lives, let’s also take time to remember those who have served but have not been blessed with strong support networks or good health upon their return. Many of these overlooked and unsung veterans live in our own city of Newport News–and LINK is asking for our help in providing them with common household items to support them in the next chapter of their lives.
Resist Apathy and the Social Justice Committee will hold a collection drive for men’s toiletries and personal grooming items during the month of November. All items collected will be donated to LINK (Living Interfaith Network). LINK particularly needs towels, face cloths, pajamas all sizes, tooth brushes, toothpaste, shampoo, shaving equipment, and shaving foam. We will also be happy to accept donations of nonperishable food items, women’s toiletries, housewares (kitchen utensils, placemats, dishwasher soap, disinfectant, floor cleaner, sheets, blankets, etc.) and/or clothing. Please bring donations to the Resist Apathy/Social Justice table between services or after second service on Sundays in November or contact Allison at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for pickup.
More info at: http://www.linkhr.org/port.html