Eva Shepard, our Outreach Coordinator with Len Palmer, one of our Korean War Veterans.
Outreach- Using the Guidelines set out by the Federal McKinney-Vento act, our all Volunteer staff work as our Veterans Outreach- not just Counselors or board. This includes going out in the local community, not necessarily shelters or community centers, but local woods, homeless gathering sites, local sites where Veterans who are homeless "survivors" often accumulate or try to blend in with their surroundings, even local events. This team is a vital part of our local interactions, as well as this team is our direct ties to the Warrior Connection, AA, the Community Network Team, Southwest Community Services, among others. This team of Veterans is our Team that runs Veterans to VA's, goes to shelters or into the "woodline" to track homeless Vets, runs our AA program, coordinate care with the VA CBOC or local care providers, and help run our food & clothing shelves for Veterans in crisis and need. In 2015 & 2016, that included:
-placing 7 local Veterans in permanent housing [non-HUD/VASH].
-Our yearly feeding local Veterans who are homeless or alone, at Thanksgiving, [Pictures from past Cookouts can be seen below].
-Weekly cookouts, rain or shine, for Veterans.
-In 2015 & 2016, RUCK-UP gave over 6 and 1/2 TONS of food to Vets in need or were homeless,
-Outreach work includes the yearly Memorial Day Weekend Candlelight Vigil held in the Center of Keene each year, (for 11 years now) on Memorial Day Weekend to help Veterans come to peace with their losses, and reach out to other Veterans. [Pictures from past Vigils can be seen below].
-Included in the Outreach is our continuing efforts with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention [AFSP}, in trying to bring the message and efforts home at preventing suicide amongst the Veteran population. When we first began participating in the National WALK OUT OF DARKNESS that AFSP hosts to help with this drive to raise awareness, 5 local Vets did the Walk-in NYC 5 years ago. This last year 46 of us stepped forward to say that the loss of 22 Veterans a day to Suicide is unacceptable. [PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT OUR WALK OUT OF THE DARKNESS TAB].
Outreach to us is any of us REACHING OUT to a Brother or Sister Veteran!