Who Serves in the Military?
As you probably know, our military force is made up of our family members, our friends or their family members. In other words its people just like you and me.
As soon as a person enters military service their entire life is abruptly halted and turned upside down. What they once knew as normal every day life is quickly altered to what the military wants; a soldier, sailor, marine or airman that will react instinctively to adverse situations. The military immediately begins conditioning that strips away a person's individuality and reinforces a team mentality that follows orders and adheres to a strict code of discipline. Service members are basically taught to use equipment that in some fashion is designed to incapacitate the enemy.
Whether a service member serves in peace-time or during a time of war, they are constantly faced with grueling training that is never-ending. The exhaustive training has prolonged moments of pure adrenalin induced anxiety usually followed by sudden and monotonous down-time that is often accompanied with extreme loneliness.
Why Do Some Veterans Become Homeless?
There are many ways veterans can become homeless. Rarely is it by choice. It is usually a series of events, such as difficulty integrating back into society, loosing a job, getting divorced, facing a death or tragedy, alcohol or drug addiction, mental illness, and learned behaviors from a series of bad experiences. Many veterans can't afford to have a home because minimum wage isn't a living wage. Many homeless veterans feel there are no opportunities left for them due to the indoctrination and training received during their service. Many veterans feel incapable of acquiring gainful employment or having a stable life. Many just need the right opportunities shown to them to change their whole perspective on life.
Many war veterans have developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a major and very serious illness, which exposure to the brutalities of war has created. Many veterans, once finished with their service, have not had the support of a caring understanding family or have tarnished those relationships through bad choices.
Once on the streets for too long, many become even more mentally disturbed and need more help than an education can provide and need to seek qualified treatment that can meet their unique needs.
Could You Become Homeless?
Many people look down on homeless people and are not understanding of the fact that it could happen to them, too. All it takes is an event like someone in your family getting a horrible illness and simultaneously losing a job and not having health insurance. Medical bills escallate to ridiculously high amounts, and the debt that mounts from these can follow you around for the rest of your life. Usually, it's not just one thing, but a chain of events that could lead you to become homeless. If you didn't have friends or family to take you in and you suffered a great loss or encountered a tragic chain of events, what would happen to you?
What Can You Do To Help?
Since 1993, Interlink Counseling Services has been a leader in Kentucky offering intensive chemical dependency (alcoholism / drug abuse) treatment in a 80 bed transitional housing setting for veterans who are experiencing homelessness. Some clients also have co-occurring mental illness. Clients may stay in the residential program for up to 24 months. Interlink provides group and individual counseling, case management, classes on recovery, relapse prevention, life skills, and other relevant topics.
The program provides structured support with specific goals and objectives designed to assist a client in stabilizing his life, overcoming his addiction, finding employment, and moving back into the community to independent living or to permanent supported housing. Interlink operates a program that specifically addresses the unique problems veterans bring to homelessness, addiction, and mental illness.
Interlink operates Harmony House (intensive in-patient treatment), Genesis House (transitional housing with case management, stabilization, and other support services), Landing Zone Detox, sober living Serenity Court Apartments, and a DUI School. Medical care and interdisciplinary supervision are provided by the Veterans Administration. Interlink also collaborates with other community programs including the Coalition for the Homeless and Seven Counties Services.
Without doubt these supportive services come at a considerable cost and we cannot carry the burden alone. We are asking for your support in helping re-establish our veterans to a place of dignity and honor. Where they can then become self-sufficient productive members of society once again.
Consider a tax deductible gift today. You can mail a check to Interlink Counseling Services at 8311 Preston Hwy, Louisville Kentucky 40219 or click the PayPal button below to make a secure online donation right away. Thank you.