Homelessness increased nationwide for the fourth consecutive year, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development report in 2020. A significant percentage of the those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are veterans.
Empowered by a Veteran-owned business (TISTA Science and Technology Corporation), CommunityForward is committed to a top national priority – Ending Veteran homelessness. We aim to provide rental assistance and other support to Veterans who are either homeless or at risk of being homeless. Temporary or permanent, housing plays an essential role in helping our Veterans rebuild their lives after experiencing homelessness. Access to appropriate housing also allows for easier access to mental health support services, education and career opportunities which are essential in aiding the rehabilitation.
This is one of our primary and growing programs in support of ending homelessness, particularly for the Veterans and survivors of human trafficking.
With the assistance of community partners such as the University of Maryland SAFE Center’s “Housing + Education” program and the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, we are able to provide rental assistance for survivors and veterans respectively, allowing them to pursue safe housing, employment, and educational opportunities.
Currently, we are exploring the award of a grant to purchase a facility to house homeless veterans. The objective of the grant is to work with a local government and/or a non-profit to provide sustainable housing for homeless veterans, as well as needed services for its residents.
In response to increased food insecurity countrywide as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, Community Forward’s Provide-A-Meal Program began with a vow to serve 3000 meals to vulnerable groups such as veterans, homeless, and underserved families/children, as well as first responders. Today, this initiative has grown to include a monthly commitment to deliver at least 1,500 meals. By collaborating with community partners, local restaurants, and soup kitchens, we have served over 31,972 meals.
Research indicates that less than half of returning veterans in need receive any mental health treatment. Among the veterans, those who are homeless have a higher risk of experiencing mental disorders. According to a report from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the prevalence of mental disorders among homeless veterans varies from 48 to 67%.
At CommunityForward, we are committed to improving access to mental health services to our Veterans, especially those who are homeless. Our programs include partnership with US Vets to fully fund Mental Health Therapy support for homeless veterans transitioning at US Vets’ Washington DC location.
The COVID-19 pandemic initially put an immense demand on the health-care system, leading in a scarcity of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Community Forward responded by obtaining PPE for those most in need, suppling over 34,750 PPEs to first responders, police officers, and healthcare professionals at hospitals and nursing homes.
We also distributed PPE, masks, and gloves to homeless individuals, veterans in shelters, underserved families/children, and inner-city educators.
TISTA developed a COVID-19 tracker to track cases around the U.S. to effectively identify who is in the most need and where they are located.
Mentoring, scholarships, and job placements for the underserved to remove barriers and create opportunities.
Services and resources to solve challenges with mental health, food insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Housing, education, and employment opportunities for survivors to ease the path to recovery.
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