New Directions for Veterans
New Directions helps homeless veterans reintegrate into civilian life. Our transitional housing, food, clothing, counseling, workforce development and permanent housing solutions help each veteran transition to transformation.
Veterans often arrive at New Directions with limited resources, support, and few personal items in their possession. All contributions are essential to ensure that veterans receive the attention and mental health care they deserve, and the educational and vocational services needed to help them transition back to civilian life. With the decrease in funding sources, community support is needed now more than ever. A donation of only $15 a month can provide a disabled veteran with a bus pass to and from work, while $50 can by one winter coat. A little often goes a long way.
New Directions for Veterans (NDVets) was created by formerly homeless Vietnam veterans and one community advocate who shared their belief that no veteran should ever be homeless. NDVets still exists today because there are many homeless veterans – more in Los Angeles than in 42 other states combined, according to the California Department of Veterans Affairs. While the conflict in Iraq has officially ended and U.S. engagement in Afghanistan is winding down, waves of troops are returning home and will be over the next several years. The transition back to the norms of civilian life is often daunting and can lead to financial hardship, difficulty with medical issues, problems with substance abuse, and even homelessness for some individuals. It is estimated that more than 4,000 veterans live on the streets of Los Angeles County on any given night. Although the numbers are declining, we have become all too familiar with hearing the phrase “homeless veteran” in our national dialogue. The reality is that more work needs to be done in order to completely end homelessness among veterans. Here at NDVets we work to erase veteran homelessness, and to empower men and women who served in the military, and their families, to lead productive and fulfilling lives.
Now in its 23rd year of service, NDVets has new leadership and is expanding it's homelessness prevention and permanent supportive housing for homeless and disabled veterans. Our agency was recognized by the NAACP in July 2011 when it granted its Julius E. Williams Distinguished Community Service Award. In spring 2012, NDVets was honored as a finalist in the Joining Forces Community Challenge, a special project spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden. In June 2013, NDVets received a Southern California Ford Freedom Unsung Hero Award for Service to the African American Community. In calendar year 2014, we provided services to more than 1,000 veterans and their families, opened two permanent supportive housing facilities, and won the Supportive Housing Project of the year from the SCANPH Housing Conference. In 2015, we added our fifth housing community and launched a bridge housing program. In our two decades of service, countless veterans have gone on from New Directions to lead successful and productive lives in the community.
One recent success story involves a post-Vietnam era veteran with prior homelessness and a substance abuse issue. He formally entered our program and over the course of 22 months he was able to get his life back on track while attending aviation mechanics training at a West Los Angeles Community College. He graduated with a 4.0 GPA and a certificate of completion. Upon exiting New Directions’ program, he was able to secure full-time employment at an aviation firm in Washington State.
New Directions for Veterans’ accounting and development departments have many years of experience in managing federal grants as well as numerous state, local and private grants. We have developed stringent financial procedures in accordance with GAAP, FASB, and OMB Regulations. The Board of Directors oversees the finances of the organization and approves all budgets, policies and procedures, and large expenditures. The Board receives a conventional Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss statement with Budget Comparison and Variance analysis for bi-monthly review. In addition, New Directions provides periodic reports to the federal government and undergoes an annual independent audit. The independent auditor meets with the Board to discuss the results of the annual audit. Throughout its history, NDVets has received a clean and unqualified audit report.