Helping Homeless Veterans: First-Quarter 2017 Project Mercy Focus 

IPMer's volunteering for homeless veterans

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, about 1.4 million veterans are at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support networks, and overcrowded or substandard living conditions. To help address this need, IPM employees elected to focus their first-quarter 2017 Integrated Project Mercy effort on organizations that assist homeless veterans.

The Chicago office worked with the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans (MSHV) in Wheaton, Illinois. On March 25, IPM volunteers organized the shelter’s garage, and on April 22, a group worked on the shelter’s landscaping by planting, trimming, mulching, and mowing.  

In Minneapolis, IPMers supported the Minnesota Veterans Home, where many vets are not technically homeless, but would have nowhere else to go without the facility. Volunteers helped the facility’s staff with small maintenance projects and played bingo with residents.

IPM’s St. Louis office partnered with the local St. Patrick Center, which assists 7,200 area homeless or at-risk families and individuals, including veterans. Our volunteers helped spread the word about the organization’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Pot O’ Gold fundraiser by preparing hundreds of mailers that were sent to past and potential donors to help raise funds to help the homeless.

The Eastern Region Project Mercy team engaged with Habitat P.L.U.S. in Lynn, Massachusetts, which provides supported living to psychiatrically disabled veterans who would otherwise be homeless. Volunteers helped paint the veterans’ apartments and assisted improving the facility’s social media presence.

The Los Angeles office supported the Westside facility of PATH, a family of agencies working together to end homelessness for individuals, families, and communities. The Westside Center is a 32-bed interim housing facility for veteran men, assisting them during periods of financial hardship for three to six months, and providing support until they can move into permanent housing. The IPM team prepared a St. Patrick’s Day-themed lunch--including spinach salad, shepherd’s pie, corned beef, roasted potatoes, watermelon, and dessert—for about 20 vets.

The San Francisco office focused its efforts on Havens for Heroes in Oakland, California, a local volunteer organization serving Bay-Area veterans with financial assistance for obtaining security deposits, rental payments, utility payments, employment training, and emergency services. San Francisco IPMers held a Project Mercy Trivia Challenge for Havens for Heroes, and raised $770 for the organization.