In 1997, CHEP was invited to be a partner in a program initiated by the Charleston VA Medical Center to secure housing for homeless veterans on the de-activated Charleston Naval base. Prior to this partnership, the Charleston VA Medical Center had few resources for patients who completed their substance abuse recovery inpatient program. These veterans had no financial resources and no place to live. The Naval Base provided the perfect setting. With eight (8) rented officer’s housing units (4 duplex units), CHEP began providing a safe and sober environment to hundreds of veteran residents who have subsequently completed the program and now live independently in the local Charleston community.
At Veterans Villas, CHEP uses a combination of modalities to evaluate, assist and monitor each resident, including:
- Upon entering transitional housing, each resident articulates her/his personal goals to the program manager and group members at an orientation, to ensure the intent and personal resources are sufficient to complete the goals.
- Weekly meetings and individual sessions with the program manager to ensure that monitoring is a part of daily living.
- An assessment of resident progress is completed to work with resident peers and the program manager in the achievement of milestones.
- Resident progress is communicated to the staff of the VA medical center to ensure consistency between outpatient efforts and resident goals.
The success of Veterans Villas is due to the partnership between CHEP and the Charleston VA Medical Center and has led to the initiation of additional programs to provide veterans with fundamental housing and supportive services.
Charleston VETS promotes independent living by requiring veterans to conduct independent living responsibilities such as cooking, cleaning, washing, and care-taking. CHEP encourages residents to work together as a group and share responsibilities for community living. This has had an extremely positive effect on the program and gives residents of Veterans Villas new goals.
Since Charleston VETS offers individual apartment units, the living arrangement accommodates both male and female veterans along with:
- Veterans with various disabilities
- Veterans with dependents
- Veterans with service dogs
Freedom House offers individual housing units, in the same community as veterans in the “traditional” program. These individual homes represent complete independent living. This program provides a continuum of care, while allowing an opportunity to reinforce and fully develop earlier skills around attitude, recovery, and treatment.
Veterans participating in the Freedom House program are required:
- to pay rent commensurate with market rates
- design a workable budget
- be employed or receive financial support in order to meet all financial obligations
- be completely self-maintained
- remain substance free
Freedom House is an innovative model that allows a veteran with freedom within the bounds of sobriety and recovery and clearly builds on the veteran’s own successes.
All program participants are referred by the Veterans Administration’s Community Resource and Referral Center (CRRC), in North Charleston, SC. Program participants are admitted in accordance with cost-effective Housing First guidance, a successful intervention for people who have been homeless and/or and have complex disabilities.
Are you a veteran in need? Please contact the Veterans Administration’s Community Resource and Referral Center (CRRC) at: 843-789-6804.