Helping the Homeless
The Cherokee County Homeless Veteran Program (CCHVP) is part of American Legion, which is the largest veteran support group in the United States with posts in 14,000 communities around the country with 2.4 million members.
The Cherokee County initiative, directed by Jim Lindenmayer, has made a tremendous difference for veterans who have nowhere to turn. Since the program began two years ago, volunteers have helped more than 300 veterans and completed more than 65 home repair projects, including work with the Home Depot Foundation grants, Volunteer Aging Council and Habitat for Humanity.
The are many ways the nonprofit, which is run by volunteers, is changing lives.
Veterans found living in their vehicles were moved into a local hotel. “Just recently we found a Vietnam veteran and his family living in a van and have worked with other agencies to put them up in a local hotel until we could get them into an apartment as part of the SSVF [Supportive Services for Veterans with Families] program,” Lindenmayer said. “We have another Vietnam decorated combat veteran who was homeless who was just hours away from being kicked out of a local Fulton County hospital after kidney surgery. Thanks to a niece who has agreed to take him in, he is now living with her in our county until the VA processes his VA pension that he applied for over 10 months ago. This veteran needs to be moved into a managed care facility but currently does not have the funds to do so at this time until his pension is approved.”
Veterans are connected with MUST Ministries for shelter, and Highland Rivers Health for addicted or recovering vets to help them restart their lives. Lindenmayer said the CCHVP wants to expand mental health programs for vets. “We do not want to have any of our veterans become one of the 22 veteran suicides a day that happen in this country,” he said.
Volunteers have helped vets understand what benefits they are eligible for and what VA programs they can qualify for if they are homeless. (Federal programs include Veterans Supportive Housing Program, for single vets, and Supporting Services for Veterans with Families.
Because the needs vary, volunteers meet personally with each veteran from Cherokee County who calls for help. Lindenmayer stressed that the group helps only local vets, fulfilling a promise to donors who want to know their funds are helping folks in our community.
For more information, contact Jim Lindenmayer at Jlindenmayer80@gmail.com or 678-983-7590, or Mike Satterly at 404-680-2412.
Visit the Wall That Heals
The Wall That Heals, a 250-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a mobile education center, will be on the campus of Arnold Mill Elementary School (710 Arnold Mill Road, Woodstock) Nov. 16-20, giving local residents the chance to see the memorial at no charge. The wall will arrive at 10:45 a.m. Nov. 16 with a Patriot Guard and Warrior Watch escort; set-up of the exhibit will take a few hours. A welcome ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Nov. 17.
The Wall That Heals honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. armed forces during the Vietnam War, and its walls bear the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. It’s a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, D.C. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the organization that built the D.C. memorial., created the mobile exhibit to give all veterans and their family members an opportunity to see the memorial.
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