Helping Homeless Veterans

A ribbon cutting took place Wednesday at Peoria's Veterans' Haven.

The South Side Office of Concern purchased and fixed up the house at 711 NE Monroe to provide shelter and support services to homeless veterans.

Executive Director Christine Kahl tells 1470 & 100.3 WMBD the agency already operates 100 units of housing for homeless adults.

"The wait list for those units is huge," says Kahl. "The biggest need we see on that list are veterans."

While there, the veterans get access to support services and help toward finding a permanent residence.

"We provide the full range of behavioral health support services," Kahl says. "That means conducting mental health assessment, conducting a needs assessment related to their housing. Then we develop an individualized service plan around those needs, stabilizing them and getting them into permanent housing very quickly."

"The idea is to keep them housed, not return them to homelessness."

Veterans' Haven officially opened July 14. Kahl says 6 veterans were housed there at the time of Wednesday's ribbon cutting with another 4 scheduled move in Thursday. The house has a capacity of 15 veterans.

Kahl says there were 54 homeless veterans in Peoria County as of January 1.


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