Non-profit raises money for homeless veterans

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Columbia – Welcome Home Inc. is the place many homeless veterans look for assistance and shelter in times of need. The goal of this group is not only to provide emergency shelter and transitional living services, but also to help residents with clinical needs through partnerships with the VA Hospital.

Veteran’s Day is cause for celebration amongst the residents of Welcome Home Inc. It is a chance for many veterans to celebrate and appreciate each other and each individual’s path to the same shelter. Resident of the Welcome Home Inc. and Army veteran Michael Carpenter said he experiences added energy with the other veterans on the holiday.

“The camaraderie of everyone here has been really good, and there has been a major outpouring from the community coming in and visiting with us and dropping off things for us,” Carpenter said.

The shelter can afford to provide clinical assistance and living conditions through many fundraising events it holds. Welcome Home Inc. hosted the first inaugural Casino Night to raise money for the shelter on Veteran’s Day.

The entry fee of $50 all goes to Welcome Home Inc. The fee paid for chips to play casino games, along with unlimited food and drinks that were provided throughout the six-hour event.

The money raised not only funds clinical necessities; it also funds a new larger facility for homeless veterans. The new Welcome Home Inc. facility will be finished by July according to Tim Rich, the executive director of Welcome Home Inc. The new building will house almost twice a many as the current place does.

“We are having great success with that we have 11 beds, but we are sleeping 13 and the unfortunate thing is we have to turn away about 15 people a month,” Rich said.

Families and individuals are also helped to gain permanent housing so that Welcome Home Inc. doesn’t have to turn away veterans in need due to bed availability. VA Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program works with Welcome Home Inc. to help veterans get back into the community in a more stable situation.