The eldest of six children in a family headed by a career Army man, surrounded by positive male role models, and encouraged to secure an education, Alberto B. graduated with a major in political science from UC Berkeley, married his high school sweetheart, and joined the Army. Alberto learned to drive tanks and was stationed in Hawaii. Then, without knowing why, everything he worked for, everything he believed in, and everything he wanted crumbled at his feet, leading him to living on the streets in Los Angeles for the better part of 20 years. Read on.
Step Up’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) team has helped 100 Los Angeles Veterans move from the streets, shelters, and transitional housing into permanent supportive housing! One such Veteran served is Dana H. (pictured left). “Step Up saved my life.” says Dana. “As a result of housing and this support, I’m getting my life back on track. My goal is to help end Veteran homelessness in any way I can.” Click here to read Dana’s story.
The VASH team travels to the Veteran’s new home and provides them life skills coaching, linkage to medical care, and financial literacy & budgeting in their home setting. These ongoing services put the “support” in supportive housing for Veterans and help ensure housing stability and retention. Step Up is committed to supporting our nation’s heroes in reaching their self-determined goals. Marc Van Asselt, Manager of Step Up’s VASH Program refers to his team as “Agents of Change”, shown at left. You too can serve Veterans in a real and meaningful way below!
Navy Veteran Daniel L. began working in Step Up’s Vocational Training Program in September 2010. With his excellent job performance, Daniel soon earned a permanent part-time Janitorial position, where he often fills in as a shift leader for the Vocational Team. “I’m thankful that I can work at Step Up in this capacity”, says Daniel L. “And my position gives me the ability to buy extra things to enhance my life”. Step Up is proud and grateful to have Navy Veteran Daniel L. as an important member of the Vocational team. Congratulations, Daniel!
Gerald Alexander is Housing Coordinator for the Step Up Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Team and served in the Army. Gerald identifies landlords and property management companies throughout Los Angeles County willing to rent to Veterans and establishes effective working relationships with them. He then maintains ongoing support to help them throughout the rental process.
Step Up’s team provides Veterans with street outreach, engagement, help with benefits enrollment, and making appointments with the Los Angeles Housing Authority, and a trusted partnership develops. Step Up serves Veterans in “scattered site” units, and provides supportive mental health services for Veterans in each of its Step Up communities in Santa Monica and Hollywood.
On Memorial Day 2016, we pause together as a nation to honor the men and women dedicating their lives to protecting and ensuring our freedom and their families. Now it’s our turn to serve them.
This Memorial Day, be an agent of change and join Step Up’s Welcome Home! Veterans Campaign! Serve our nations heroes in a real and meaningful way and END Veteran homelessness! Salute!
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