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Time for a dose of reality from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois about the lives of Veterans. A shocking statistics shows us that 30% of the homeless population is made up of veterans, heroes that risked their lives and proudly served our country to protect our freedoms. According to Thresholds Illinois is one of seven states with more than 10,000 homeless veterans and currently, government funding serves only 1 of 10 veterans in need.
Here at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois we value our veterans, which is why we proudly support Thresholds’ Veterans Project with a financial grant. Our grant supports the Veterans Project by helping the team provide rapid housing placement as well as time-unlimited health and social service support to veterans.
More than 2.4 million men and women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and many have found challenges coming back home to their citizen’s life. According to Thresholds 1 in 4 have sought treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder/depression (PTSD), 1 in 3 struggles with substance abuse, 1 in 5 is unemployed and a tragic statistic shows that 18 commit suicide every day.
Thresholds has over 50 years of experience working with Chicago’s most at-risk populations. In 2014 The Call of Duty Endowment selected Thresholds Veterans Project as one of seven best-in-class veterans’ service organizations nationwide and awarded them the 2014 Seal of Distinction Award. The Thresholds Veterans Project integrates evidence-based practices and strategic partnerships to provide homeless outreach, housing services, supported employment, peer-driven supports, substance abuse treatment, integrated physical and mental health services, and trauma-based therapies.Thresholds’ Veterans Project is a participant of the Chicago Partnership to End Homelessness, they count with a housing locator staff to link veterans to community and agency based housing using HUD Veterans Affairs Supported Housing vouchers and Thresholds Client-Assistance Fund as means of short-term rental assistance. In 2013, Thresholds' Veterans Project helped 198 homeless or at-risk veterans improved their housing situation, 282 veterans received mental health services and case management; 114 veterans were connected to essential VA or public benefits; 104 unemployed veterans found jobs of their choosing, and 43 veterans enrolled in post-secondary education.
If you are a veteran from any war or know a veteran who is having a hard time coping with mental illness, trauma, or issues such as homelessness, substance abuse, etc., please contact Lydia Zopf, Director of the Veterans Project, at (773) 572-5263.
Veterans took care of this country, and it’s important that we take care of them.
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