On Thursday’s special Veteran’s Day edition of Closer Look with Rose Scott, CaringWorks CEO Dr. Carol Collard sat down with program host Rose Scott to discuss the continuing challenges and successes of helping our veterans who are experiencing homelessness. It’s projected that at least 762 veterans in Georgia are unsheltered, with 191 of those based in metro Atlanta. Collard shared details about how CaringWorks provides services to combat homelessness for metro Atlanta veterans, noting supportive services play a key role as mental health illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and addiction are sometimes contributing factors to veterans experiencing homelessness.
“The number one cause, as we know, has to do with being able to identify affordable housing,” shared Collard as she emphasized the need to find ways to incentivize developers to create more affordable housing in the metro area.
Through the RISE VA program, CaringWorks provides unhomed veterans with permanent affordable supportive housing augmented with social services and supports in order to make the transition from homelessness. Additionally, case workers help to identify the behavioral health or other underlying challenges that may have contributed to their homelessness and pair these veterans with health services. CaringWork’s Hope House, a residential treatment program, also has dedicated beds for veterans. Collard shared success stories of veterans who have participated in these programs and are now contributing to the community.
“It is so important for me to get people to understand that we are losing people who have so much to offer and contribute back to society when we look away,” Collard concluded.
To hear the interview online, visit the WABE webpage here.