In our ongoing efforts to invest in our community and be good neighbors to those in need, we’ve partnered with the Bellingham Opportunity Council to support low-income veterans and their families who are experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness.
Opportunity Council offers services to participant households by providing a range of supportive services designed to resolve the immediate crisis and restore housing stability. Services include individualized housing case management, short-term rental subsidies to prevent the imminent loss of a home, or help identifying a new, more suitable housing situation for the veteran and their family. They also provide assistance navigating and obtaining VA and public benefits or gaining access to primary and behavioral health care. Services also help veterans work toward goals like enrolling in educational programs, increasing income, helping with housing search and placements, and accessing resources like employment case management, financial education, child care and early education resources, rental assistance, and tenant education. Opportunity Council also partners with service providers across sectors to coordinate services around areas that can impact housing stability including safety planning, economic mobility, and access to veteran resources.
Households served through Opportunity Council housing programs receive follow-up case management services for one year after exiting the program. Follow-up case management consists primarily of phone check-ins to see that a household is stable and provide information and referrals. Follow-up is a valuable tool in preventing reoccurring episodes of homelessness. Through follow-up, case managers can provide intervention for at-risk households to regain stability in their housing.
According to the Bellingham Opportunity Council, our sponsorship will assist Veterans and their families with stabilization and housing placement by supporting needs not covered by other resources. Funding will cover the costs of rental application fees, obtaining documents to eliminate a barrier to housing, basic needs for daily living such as emergency food, diapers, and toiletries, transportation, moving costs, interview clothing, and essential apparel such as a winter coat or shoes. We’re proud to be able to support this local group who, in turn, will help Veterans and their families in our community with the resources needed to help ensure housing stability and well-being.