WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today it is collecting laptop and mobile phone donations through an established partner non-profit organization, America’s Adopt A Soldier, to help Veterans at risk of or experiencing homelessness stay connected to their health care providers, case managers and loved ones.
Through these donations, Veterans can access treatment plans, medical support, social networks and more while also following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safe distancing guidelines.
“As VA continues to help provide secure, safe and stable housing for all Veterans, we’re also helping them stay connected to needed services, family and friends,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This partnership makes those valuable connections possible for Veterans who might not otherwise have access to mobile phones or computers.”
Hundreds of smartphones and laptops have been collected through public and corporate donations. These donations have been shipped to Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 21, which includes VA Health Care Systems for San Francisco, Palo Alto, Northern California, and Southern Nevada. The laptops and smartphones will go to Veterans enrolled in one of three VA programs: Housing and Urban Development – VA Supportive Housing, Grant and Per Diem transitional housing and Health Care for Homeless Veterans Contract Residential Services. As additional donations arrive, America’s Adopt A Soldier will work with VA to identify additional VISNs in need.
“While America’s Adopt A Soldier has had a long-standing partnership with VA to help Veterans at risk of homelessness in other ways, this project allows for the organizations to meet the urgent needs of Veterans at risk of or experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mary Keeser, founder and chair of America’s Adopt a Soldier and former U.S. Army Officer. “The success of this project will also ensure we are able to better plan for and respond to future or long-term requirements.”
You can learn more about how the VA is working to protect Veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic at homeless coronavirus.