Two different divisions of the VA have come together in a joint effort to assist homeless Veterans and help them get the care they deserve and require. The Homeless program and the Canteen Services staff collaborated in a project that will provide homeless Veterans with free Meal Card vouchers for use at VA Medical Center PatriotCafé’s and coupons that can be used at the center’s PatriotStore. The Durham VAMC will be receiving 280 meal cards and 40 patron coupons as a result of this program.
Getting a meal or the ability to purchase a few items at the PatriotStore may not seem like a big deal, but it could provide the final incentive required to get a homeless Veteran off of the street. The ability to get a meal while receiving top quality care at the VA is a great benefit to our homeless Veteran population and is an incentive for homeless Veterans who complete their first medical appointment. The coupon books are for homeless Veterans moving into housing through the HUD-VASH program. Durham VAMC Homeless Program Supervisor Lindsey Jordan believes the program is a “huge benefit, allowing Veterans to purchase items they need for their new homes right here in the VA canteen.”
The program gives homeless Veterans encouragement to come to the VA and receive care and its timing is great. Jim Cone, the Assistant Chief of Canteen Services at the Durham VAMC points out the importance of the program by stating, “This is a great program that is coming just in time for the holidays.” The benefits of this new program are sure to bring joy to many this holiday season.