The Albany Housing Coalition, Inc., is assisting veterans returning from Iraq/Afghanistan who are likely to be struggling with reintegration at home, in their community, and in the workplace.
Assistance focuses on assessing needs, referral to healthcare and/or counseling, entry into our peer to peer support system, and referral to other needed supports such as employment, financial management, debt management, domestic violence counseling, alcohol abuse counseling.
We envision working with local court systems, family members, the National Guard, and will seek to engage volunteer providers of counseling services to complement VA resources.
Our goal is to provide peer support and make referral to appropriate care to avert the all too prevalent spiral downward that ends up with a veteran’s loss of family, job, and housing that has historically occurred over a 3-5 year period for those challenged with return from war.
Emphasis will be put to the needs of women veterans and young veterans starting out in life. The program also recognizes the need for suicide prevention strategies.
Our Veteran Community Advocacy Program, VCAP, is available to all OEF/OIF veterans in need of assistance and advocacy.
VCAP recognizes the need to support and re-integrate the veteran who returns home from war. It involves a sensitive, creative, resourceful, proactive approach to encourage veterans to engage in needed supports, services and benefits.
We envision acting as the “go-to” resource for veterans returning from war, responding with encouragement, compassion, and resources. The Coalition is actively working to expand its network of community providers to include partnering with the courts in the tri-county area to divert OEF/OIF veterans in trouble to us for assessment and referral to services. VCAP will offer referral to a continuum of services with the end goal of personal empowerment through healthcare, employment, housing and family.
We developed VetTrak as a key component of our peer support efforts. On May 1, 2010 VetTrak - a treatment court exclusively for veterans- was begun in county courts in the following counties: Albany, Rensselaer, Columbia, Greene, Ulster, Sullivan, and Schoharie. VetTrak is characterized by a peer mentoring program that we have developed. Our Coordinator has trained veteran mentors to appear in court with the veteran defendant and to act as an ally and sounding board. The judges presiding over the county VetTrak courts work with the treatment team to ensure that the veteran has access to needed care and tracks the progress of the veteran. We are also working in Albany City court.