ALEXANDRIA -- With President Obama announcing plans for a new Veterans Job Corps, Volunteers of America has released a new report, drafted in partnership with Wilder Research, which analyzes the success of programs helping homeless veterans rebuild their lives and find work. More than 40 programs nationwide submitted information about their client demographics, services or successes.
The results of Wilder's data analysis are summarized in the report: http://voa.org/homelessveteranreport.
Among the key findings - while homeless veterans in job programs have been successful in finding placements, job retention remains a challenge. This demonstrates the need for veterans programs that address a variety of issues (education, mental health, addiction, family connections) in addition to employment.
"The breadth of services needed to assist these veterans is significant and typically ongoing for decades, if not their lifetimes," said Volunteers of America President Mike King. "Our philosophy of support is based on a long-term, holistic approach that targets a variety of needs including education, mental health, addiction treatment and connections with family and friends. We have high rates of success getting veterans placed into good jobs; now we have to make sure we can keep them there."
Survey results showcase the very high success rates Volunteers of America affiliates have with assisting veterans, as compared to similar programs:
-- More than 90% of affiliates met or exceeded goals for increasing veteran skills or income.
-- 99% of veterans who sought job training received it.
-- Veterans in Volunteers of America programs were hired at higher rates than the national average (63% vs. 45% nationally), and earned wages higher than the national average.
-- However, job retention remains a challenge: 64% of Volunteers of America program participants employed while in the program still had a job after 180 days.
The evaluated programs are funded by two federal programs: the Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem program, part of the Department of Veterans Affairs' Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program; and the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, part of the Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service.