America’s Adopt a Soldier and the Department of Veterans Affairs are working together to ensure that Veterans at risk of or experiencing homelessness can stay connected with their health care providers, case managers, and loved ones.
The nonprofit and VA have partnered since 2010 to provide a variety of services and support to homeless and at-risk veterans. Adopt a Soldier’s newest program keeps veterans connected with VA care providers via a laptop and mobile phone donation program.
“Some veterans often lack the resources needed to remain connected with VA services and family members,” a VA blog post reads. “And the need for telecommunication donations to promote connectivity with care providers became evident as many states across the country enacted stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic.”
The nonprofit has provided VA with hundreds of smartphones and laptops, procured through public and corporate donations from Verizon and AT&T. The equipment has been shipped to Veterans Integrated Service Network 21, which includes the Northern California Bay, Palo Alto, and Northern California and Southern Nevada VA health care systems.
The laptops and smartphones will go to veterans currently in Housing and Urban Development – VA transitional housing, and Health Care for the Homeless Contract Residential Services programs.
As additional donations arrive from corporations and other organizations, America’s Adopt a Soldier will work with VA to identify additional VISNs in need.
“Having this veteran population shelter in place without the technology to keep them connected, might result in catastrophic impacts and immeasurable setbacks to their treatment,” said former Army officer Mary Keeser, founder and chair of America’s Adopt A Soldier.
Keeser’s organization used active-duty military and veterans to update and reconfigure donated laptops to make sure they were ready for use once distributed, according to the blog.
“Veterans can use the technology to access treatment plans and medical support, conduct job searches, continue their education, and of course, stay in touch with their social networks,” she said. “A lot of our veterans depend on those social connections with other veterans and military organizations.”
Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness should contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-424-3838.