As we approach Veterans Day and Give to the Max Day, the issue of veteran homelessness comes to the forefront of the Housing First Minnesota Foundation. The 2023 Give to the Max Day is on Thursday, November 16 and is considered Minnesota’s holiday for giving. Our Foundation’s goal is to raise $20,000 this Give to the Max Day. These funds will help support community build projects, like our Housing for Heroes homes.
The Housing First Minnesota Foundation, with nonprofit partners the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) and Lennar, have continued their Housing for Heroes work in 2023. Since 2017, this Housing for Heroes partnership has built eleven homes. This year, 20 more beds for unhoused veterans were added to the 31 that we’ve already constructed—bringing the grand total to more than 50 beds. These houses will be home to a group of individual veterans or to a veteran and their family.
Currently, there are 306 individuals like Derrick on Minnesota’s Homeless Veteran Registry. This number does not count veterans who may be in other unstable housing arrangements. Veterans are one of the largest populations of individuals experiencing homelessness. This critical housing program gives Minnesota veterans experiencing homelessness the support and confidence to find success once again.
These transitional homes help veterans like Kayla rebuild their lives and regain their independence. Once housed, these veterans receive wrap-around support services from MACV—aiding their transition out of homelessness.
The words “homeless” and “veteran” should never be in the same sentence. Housing impacts everyone. And when it’s not available, the effects on families and individuals are devastating. At Housing First Minnesota Foundation, we believe every individual has worth and human dignity and deserves the basic provision of shelter as a necessity of life. For those willing to give their lives for our country, this is the least we can do for them.