Do you know a veteran who may be facing homelessness? Are you a veteran who needs help with rent or mortgage payments? The Friends of Veterans may be able to provide assistance for these needs and more!
What is the Friends of Veterans program?
The Friends of Veterans program is a non-profit volunteer organization that was started in 1983. They have no paid staff! Their original goal was to help homeless vets in New Hampshire and Vermont.
The Friends of Veterans program has since expanded to emergency services, helping prevent homelessness, as well as provide help with utilities, home repairs, vehicle repairs, and possibly even service dogs! The Friends of Veterans program has provided an average of over $100,000 in help every year!
The Friends of Veterans program helps veterans facing homelessness by providing assistance with emergency motel lodging, gas cards, food cards, and transportation, and more! The Friends of Veterans program can also help homeless vets network with many other local and national veteran assistance programs for emergency help!
Rent and mortgage assistance
The Friends of Veterans program has several ways they may help veterans avoid homelessness. They may provide financial assistance to cover security deposits, first or last month’s rent, past due rent, moving expenses, taxes, and more!
If your residence’s utility bills are past due or you are unable to pay them, the Friends of Veterans program may be able to help! Financial assistance with past due or current heating, electric, and other utilities may be covered to ensure the livability of your home.
If your home has or will become unlivable due to needed repairs, the Friends of Veterans program may be able to help with funds. In 2021, the Friends of Veterans program gave over $10,000 in home repair grants. They may be able to help you!
If your vehicle is needed for employment or medical appointments, the Friends of Veterans program may be able to help with ensuring reliable transportation. In 2021, they provided over $13,000 in vehicle repairs, vehicle payments, and gas cards!
One of the newest projects for the Friends of Veterans program is helping provide service dogs for veterans with PTSD! Once the veteran has received a recommendation from the VA (or VA affiliate), the Friends of Veterans program can help acquire a dog and possibly assist with veterinarian costs. There are several resources for military PTSD service dogs that the Friends of Veterans program can provide to help veterans become familiar with the process and expectations.
The dogs are fully trained ADA-qualified registered service animals to help with PTSD. Veteran applicants must submit a plan how they will care for the service dog. In 2021, the Friends of Veterans program provided $3000 in service dog support!
Who qualifies for help from the Friends of Veterans program?
Eligibility requirements for receiving help from the Friends of Veterans program include:
- Veteran who has served six months active duty
- Honorable or Under Honorable Conditions discharge
- New Hampshire or Vermont resident
How do I request help from the Friends of Veterans program?
You can call 802-296-8368 for help in an emergency. Office hours are from 11AM – 3PM (may change depending on COVID-19). The Friends of Veterans program has an online application to make it easy to apply for help! The forms may be emailed to [email protected]. Applications may also be faxed to 802-296-3663 or mailed to:
Friends of Veterans
Farmvu Dr., Suite 3
White River Junction, VT
The Friends of Veterans program’s goal is to respond to needs quickly: less than a week from completed application to decision. They meet weekly on Thursdays to review requests, and checks for assistance are issued that day.
What documents do I need to include with my application?
There are several documents that need to be submitted with an application for help from the Friends of Veterans program. These are to ensure your eligibility and to provide proof of need:
- Form DD214 to indicate discharge status and service credit
- Release of Information form
- Income and Expense Form for all household members
- Proof of income (paystubs, W-2’s, bank statements, etc)
- VA recommendation for PTSD service dog (if applicable)
To provide information on the requested bill(s) to be paid, the following may need to be submitted:
- Demand for rent or eviction notice (lease or mortgage must be in veteran’s name)
- Security deposit with copy of lease
- Utility shutoff notice
- Vehicle repair estimates (two estimates required)
- Home repair estimate (two estimates required and home must be in veteran’s name)
- Heating fuel estimate
- Copy of veterinarian costs
The Friends of Veterans program requests that the application include details about what steps the veteran is making to become financially independent following assistance.
How is the Friends of Veterans program funded?
The Friends of Veterans program is a funded mainly by 62% in grants, and 10% in individual donations. They hold an annual golf tournament fundraiser that covers all overhead for the organization for the remaining 28% in incoming funds.
How can I help?
The Friends of Veterans program has no paid staff! This means volunteers like you are critical to helping your local veterans who may be facing homelessness! Volunteers all receive a background check and on-the-job training. Areas where volunteer help may be needed include: caseworkers to assist veterans, answering and logging phone calls, callbacks for veteran’s status, faxing and filing documents. Many current staff are veterans!
Donations are always welcome as well! The Friends of Veterans program is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and donations may be tax-deductible! Individual donations go directly to client services and not to any organization overhead.
What if I need more help?
We’ve covered several ways that the Friends of Veterans program may be able to help you or a veteran you love! We have many more veteran resources, both local and nationwide!