A Hand Up

helping homeless Veterans

Why It Matters

The Need

ernst-ppl-flagThe latest statistics say that 1 out of every 4 homeless individuals is a veteran. Imagine living a life where your actions are relied upon each and every day. You are part of a group of men and women working to serve a purpose. Upon your return, life is different. Maybe you experienced things that nobody should experience. You took an oath to put your life on the line for people you don’t even know. Imagine you’re one of the ones who went to combat and were injured, physically and/or mentally, and now that you’ve returned are told to stand in line and wait for help while your life falls apart.

This is the reality of the people we want to help. They have no job, no home, and very little hope. The government is handcuffed by bureaucracy however there seems to be a grassroots movement to help fill the gaps where they have failed. P4Q is proud to be one of many similar communities across the nation that have stepped up and committed to giving our homeless veterans a hand up.

%

Homeless Vets are Female

%

Adult Homeless Veterans

%

Male Homeless Population are Veterans

%

Are between the ages of 18 & 30

%

Are between the ages of 31 & 50

%

Have Mental Illness

%

Homeless Veterans have disabilities

%

Have Substance Abuse Problems

Nearly Half served in the Vietnam War era.

1/3 were stationed in a war zone.

1.4 million are considered at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support networks, and dismal living conditions in substandard, overcrowded housing

veterans are homeless on any given night

What seems to work best?

Community based substance-free programs where veterans help veterans.

Surrounded by those who are bettering themselves.

Personal development and empowerment.

A Note From the President – Matthew Rainwater:

The Military obviously holds a place near and dear to my heart. To this day, the men and women I served with are still some of the people closest to my heart. We trained together, we played together. We shared experiences that men and women who have not served may never be able to relate to. We know, with a wink and a nod, that there is a bond between us that will never be broken.  That is true for all Veterans. When one vet meets another for the first time, we can always count on giving each other a hard time if they were in a different branch of the service. If we were in the same branch, then we will make fun of each other’s job. If we had the same job, we will knock the other person’s unit.

However, I have noticed that for some reason my fellow men and women that have served in our Armed Forces are not being treated the way they should be.  Not by the average person. Not by you and me. I dare say that to the best of my knowledge the vast majority of people in the United States go out of their way to tell service men and women that they appreciate their service. We lift the veterans and the active duty military up in our thoughts, our prayers. We buy them lunches, we pay for their coffee when we see them. We recognize the sacrifice they have made and give them the honor they have earned.

But that is not the case with the Government, it seems.  For some reason, the very government that decides to send men and women off to war, the very government that makes the soldier fulfill their pledge and place their lives in harm’s way to defend the values and ideals of this country, seems to be content with allowing those service members to be hurt on the battle field, and then to have to come back here, only to suffer more.  We have all read the headlines. We have heard the horror stories. Veterans today are taking their lives at a rate of 20 per day.

Some are dying in the parking lots of the very hospitals they are told to go to in order to receive medical care.  They are being hung up on, or placed on hold for hours when they reach out to the entities put in place by the government. These entities are supposedly there to “help” but so often wind up doing more harm. We have a whole generation of service men and women who are coming back from combat with PTSD, with traumatic brain injuries, with a host of psychological issues. They are coming back from fighting for us and are missing limbs, or are disfigured….and for up to 55,000 of them, wind up homeless.  The homeless veteran is the saddest of them all. These are Sons, Daughters, Moms and Dads, who for whatever reason, after serving their country honorably, are now fighting for their lives to just live day to day.

This, in my opinion, is a black eye on our country. It is a sin that the leaders of our great nation have allowed it to get to this level, and as of right now, IF they even talk about it, that is ALL they do. There is very little action taken to fix what they KNOW is a problem, and very little effort (if any) towards trying to understand the entirety of the problem.  However, I cannot fix that. It is not in my power to change the VA. It is only in my power to do what I can, and even that is very limited.

So, what CAN I do?

I can make an effort. I can hope, I can dream. I can come up with a plan and try to inspire those around me to see value in that plan. Hopefully, if they see enough value, I will be able to get them to partner up with me and donate time, skill, expertise, and yes, even money, to help me to help the homeless veterans that are in our area.

As you read and look around this website, you will see that, as of right now, I have found several great people who have partnered with me toward the cause of helping veterans. Together, we have formed “Pennies For Quarters”, and our goal is to get those homeless veterans who desire to be off the streets a home while they take a year to get their lives back on track. This is an endeavor born out of a passion to serve. Not just this country, not just this community, but that part of us which has sacrificed, or been willing to sacrifice, in order to help keep it that beacon, that “Light on the Hill”.

We hope that you will pull up alongside us.

Thanks,

Matthew Rainwater
Founder/President
Pennies For Quarters
360-775-4222

“Helping those that stood for US, to stand on THEIR OWN

"Brian" with Matthew Rainwater

Meet Brian.  Brian is an army vet, with PTSD.  He collects $400 a month in benefits, and can’t live with people because of his PTSD and anxiety issues.  Brian, and other veterans in his position, is the reason why “Pennies for Quarters” needs to exist, and succeed.