Breaking Ground assists several special needs segments of the chronically homeless population in New York City, and regrettably, these include a significant number of military veterans. We serve veterans in all program areas, from street outreach to transitional and permanent supportive housing. Homeless veterans comprise approximately 11% of our total client base.
Our veteran’s transitional residence on the Montrose Campus of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is unique in offering a writing workshop for the community there. Writings and drawings from the workshop were published in Afterwords: On Common Ground.
In 2011, Breaking Ground, Goddard Riverside, and the BRC initiated a pilot project to intensify efforts to identify and house homeless veterans. This effort doubled Breaking Ground’s annual caseload of clients with a history of military service and aims to house close to 200 veterans annually. In addition, Breaking Ground and its partners are working closely with the Department of Veterans Affairs to confirm that clients receive all veterans’ benefits to which they are entitled, including housing, employment training and support, and medical, mental health and/or substance abuse treatment.