Denver gets new pilot program to help chronically homeless veterans
By Colleen O'Connor
The Denver Post
Posted: 08/24/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT

Army veteran Derrick Green prays in his apartment, funded by the VA and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Denver will be part of a pilot program that helps get more homeless veterans housing and treatment for physical, mental and addiction problems. (Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post)Denver is one of five cities where the Department of Veterans Affairs will pilot a new program to help homeless veterans.

The program, funded with a $33 million grant over five years, will create a 40-bed program for chronically homeless vets.

Geographic need is one reason Denver was chosen. Currently, the closest program for Denver-area homeless veterans who require residential treatment for alcohol, drugs and psychological problems is in Sheridan, Wyo.

The Denver program will be housed in an existing building not yet selected and is expected to start in about 18 months. The other cities are San Diego, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Miami.

"It's not a shelter, but a therapeutic, holistic treatment center for homeless vets, because Denver is a hub for the homeless in general," said Jordan Schupbach, spokesman for the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System.

Residential treatment programs offer a variety of services, including help with medical, mental health and addiction problems and job-skills training.

A recent VA study of veterans who graduated from residential rehabilitation and transitional housing programs showed that 79 percent remained independently housed one year later.
Very cool.

Denver Post