Helping At-Risk 21st Century Veterans
The Veterans Life Center is a residential program designed to help at-risk 21st Century male and female veterans. It is our goal to provide each of our residents the prospect of a constructive and personally satisfying role in civil society. By strengthening their mental fitness and physical health, improving life skills and providing vocational training, we will guide them to career opportunities and community reintegration, averting all-too-frequent crises such as homelessness, incarceration, suicide and premature death.
The idea was started by a small group of young veterans with no experience and no funding, who earned the respect and support of local, state and Federal leaders. Relentlessly, they have fought off the red tape and the naysayers and brought their vision to the doorstep of reality.
At full capacity, the facility will have 100+ beds, mostly in double rooms, with showers and bathroom facilities in each of the four wings. There will be a full commercial kitchen with servery and dining room, plus a large multipurpose room, two day rooms, a library, a computer lab, a conference room, a physical fitness room, store, dispensary, nurse/first aid room and two laundry rooms as well as various storage and mechanical rooms and office space for a staff of 30-plus.
Located in Butner, NC, the handsome 9.5-acre hillside lot features scattered old growth oak trees and is conveniently located less than 3 miles from the South Campus of Vance-Granville Community College with which VLC has an MOA to provide vocational training for VLC residents. It is adjacent to the R.J. Blackley Center, a state-operated substance abuse treatment center, and about a half mile from the North Carolina Central Regional Hospital, a major mental health care facility. It is just 18 minutes up I-85 from the Durham VA Hospital.
Construction funding has been realized through an $8.3 million CDBG grant, the largest such grant ever in the Southeastern United States. Operational funding will come from both state and Federal governments, and from private sources including foundations, corporations and individuals.
The clientele we will serve will consist of 21st Century service veterans whose discharge status makes them eligible for VA services. They will be in need of therapy, counseling and/or educational, vocational or life skill development. Perhaps most importantly, they must want to be there, and so signify in writing. They will also agree to abide by the Center’s behavioral and operational policies, and to participate in designing their own reintegration program.
At VLC, our goal is successful community reintegration for every North Carolina Veteran, but the path to that goal is different for each of them. We are the only statewide Veterans organization designed to facilitate the specialized services, counseling, training and mentoring to return our suffering heroes to self-reliance. We cannot do it alone. We need your support!
Measuring Our Success
We will determine the success of the programs by metrics that measure various key points during the program, as well as six-month, one-year and two-year status checks with regard to a graduate’s job, housing, transportation situation, ongoing mental and physical care, community involvement and participation in a mentorship program we will initiate for each resident.