Far too often, veterans struggle upon returning home, sometimes even finding themselves without shelter.
Reach Veterans Services in Terre Haute is working to make a difference for veterans like Dan Shaub. He had just finished serving in the Navy when he decided to join the Army and begin basic training.
“Right after basic, I told all the guys that I went in with, I said ‘We’re going to Vietnam’. They said, ‘No, no, no’,” recalls Shaub. “Yeah, 18 months later I came home.”
He’s one of the many veterans who have found support through Reach Veterans Services. He moved into one of the apartments that the organization provides after meeting Martina Butler-Hull.
She’s a veteran herself. She joined the Marine Corps and served for four years when an injury shattered her ankle.
“After I got out, I was trying to find a place that I fit in and came to Reach as an intern and absolutely fell in love with helping other veterans,” she says. “We started with the complex out on 14th and Hulman, building those duplexes. The two bedroom, two bath, ADA accessible duplexes out there for homeless veterans, but it simply wasn’t enough.”
In February of 2017, Reach Veterans Services and Intecare (SSVF) began working together to meet the needs of more veterans. One of the crucial services they provide is rapid re-housing and homeless prevention to those who qualify.
“The basic criteria for our program is the veteran have one day of active duty, outside of training, other than a dishonorable discharge, and low income, low or no income,” explains Bill Whitman, an Intecare (SSVF) case manager.
Their location at 621 Poplar Street also serves as a shelter for homeless veterans. However, even those who are not homeless can find help at the location. Officials say it’s a one stop shop for local veterans who need some assistance.
“There are other services through Reach Veterans Services that can address those issues,” says Whitman. “The idea is, if you’re a veteran and you come here, you’re going to be welcomed and we’re going to see that your needs are met.”
Last year, Reach Veterans Services and Intecare (SSVF) helped more than 230 veterans. For veterans like Dan Shaub, it wasn’t simply a home that Reach provided, but something much more.
“People were coming out of the woodwork just saying ‘hello’ and ‘my name is such and such’, and you made friends, you know,” says Shaub.
Friends who will be with him every step of the way as he prepares to take on his next battle.
“I’m having surgery for cancer. I’ll be laid up for awhile and I know for a fact that I don’t have one day to myself. My friends will come,” Shaub says.
One of the way Reach Veterans Services makes a difference is through Operation Vanguard. That’s where volunteers camp outside in very cold weather, collecting money, food and essential items.
Donations are something they can always use. If you’d like to help or learn more about Reach Veterans Services, click here.