Veterans face incredible challenges in reestablishing their regular lives after military service.
Project Summary/Engagement Approach:
To address the sobering statistics about the difficulties veterans face trying to reestablish their lives, the nonprofit Welcome Home Montrose, Inc. (WHM) organized a two-day conference of focus groups involving more than 200 community members from all sectors of the city. Local business and government leaders banded together to create a “Resolution to Support” the work of Welcome Home Montrose and to make the city a “no barriers” environment for wounded warriors.
One tangible outcome of the resulting strategic plan was the launch of the Dream Job Pilot Program, which brought four medically retired service members from Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland to Montrose, and provided them with housing, career internships, and mentoring for six months. In return, the veterans acted as consultants for WHM, offering assessments on the city’s ability to serve more veterans in the future.
Currently Welcome Home Montrose operates the Warrior Resource Center on Main Street, which serves as a clearinghouse of information and as the location for weekly and monthly gatherings of veterans and spouses.
Many programs are now in place to make life better for military families in Montrose. They include the Business Window Sticker Program, The Eagle Head Cane Presentations, music, classes and social activities. The generosity and ambition of the community has gained national recognition from press and social media. More than 145 individuals, 50 businesses, numerous nonprofit groups, and 250-plus veterans are actively supporting this volunteer-driven and donation-funded grassroots initiative.
As the city develops adaptive recreation venues, strengthens services and modifies its infrastructure beyond being ADA compliant on behalf of military service members, a “no barriers” environment for people of all ages and abilities who live in or visit the community is being created.
Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans