Housing is critical for homeless veterans and human trafficking survivors who are in transition to rebuild their lives. We strive to learn from our partners about how housing, education and other vital support services can enable a recovery of not just an individual but often a family and a community. We have come to understand how mental health support services, housing and employment opportunities are key to successful recovery from homelessness.
We work with community partners such as University of Maryland SAFE Center’s “Housing + Education” program, and Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless to provide rental assistance for survivors and veterans that enables safe housing, employment, and educational pursuits.
Initiated as a response to worsening food insecurity nation-wide because of the COVID-19 pandemic, TISTA’s Serve-a-Meal program began with a commitment to serve 3000 meals to vulnerable populations (veterans, homeless, and underserved families/children) and first responders. Today, this program has grown with a commitment to serve at least 1500 meals per month. To date, we have served over 18,756 meals with working with community partners, local restaurants, and soup kitchens.
Mental Health Support
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (51.5 million in 2019). Homeless veterans are high risk for experiencing mental disorders, with studies showing the prevalence is double the percentages compared to domiciled veterans. Our programs include a partnership with US Vets to support hiring a Mental Health Therapist who provides treatments for homeless veterans (US Vets Washington DC Transition Home).
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented demands on the health care system; initially, this caused shortages in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves. TISTA responded by sourcing PPEs for those who need them the most. We have sourced and distributed over 34,750 PPEs, at no cost, to first responders (firefighters, police officers, and healthcare professionals at hospitals and nursing homes).
We have also distributed PPEs to the homeless, veterans housed at shelters, underserved families/children, and inner-city school staff.
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