Housing Program for Homeless Veterans Opens in Gaithersburg
An opening ceremony will take place at the shelter at 14147 Darnestown Road in Gaithersburg from 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Capitol Health Care Network, which includes the Baltimore and Washington DC VA Medical Centers, awarded Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH) funding to provide low-barrier Safe Haven emergency housing for 15 homeless veterans. MCCH has secured funding for this critical program for one year, with additional renewal funding for up to five years.
A “Safe Haven” is a form of supportive housing that serves hard-to-reach homeless persons with severe mental illness who are on the street and have been unable or unwilling to participate in supportive services.
“Safe Haven programs are the most suited to the needs of the homeless veteran population because they provide a harm-reduction model coupled with intensive supportive services designed to develop the independent living skills necessary to sustain housing stability,” said MCCH Executive Director Susie Sinclair-Smith. “With the opening of our new Veterans Safe Haven, we are looking forward to serving some of the most vulnerable homeless veterans in our community with the goal of helping them move into permanent housing.”
MCCH’s Safe Haven program will provide homeless veterans with access to housing and resources. The program is staffed with a house manager, case manager, and residential aide. The case manager will work with the veterans to engage them in local treatment centers, accessing VA medical centers in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. for vocational, educational, mental health, medical, and other health and human services.
A Wider Circle donated furniture, Home Builders Care Foundation and Bank of America donated cleaning supplies and household items, and the Silver Spring VFW donated an American flag.
MCCH has been successful in operating Safe Haven locations for other vulnerable homeless populations by providing a structured and safe living environment that enables clients to move at their own pace, become engaged in treatment, and develop skills with the ultimate goal of moving into permanent supportive housing. Safe Haven is the longest running program at MCCH.