Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma recently received an $830,000 federal grant, which it will use to help house more than 100 veterans who are currently homeless. The funding, made possible through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, comes at a time when the unemployment for veterans has gone from 4.1 percent to 13.3 percent.
When a veteran comes to the Goodwill for support, the Goodwill will initially set the individual up in a hotel room.
“We are currently, with the CARES Act money we received, able to pay the hotel bills,” said Tanya Howard, a veterans’ services outreach manager for Goodwill Industries of Oklahoma. “We’re providing food deliveries to them so they don’t get hungry. The hotels have typically agreed to provide laundry services to them as well.”
Once the veteran is set up in the hotel, Goodwill works with them to find a longer-term housing solution.
“We provide an ample amount of resources such as rent and utilities, but we also assist with child care,” said Brondalyn Coleman, who is the director of supportive services for veteran families. “We’ve also been able to help with educational resources and employment support.”
In addition to housing, utilities and food support, the Goodwill also helps veterans with educational resources, employment support and case management to help them connect with employment opportunities.