Getting a job for a homeless veteran can come with some difficulties of how to get to the job site, especially when your county has no public mass transit. American Legion Thomas M. Brady Post 45, along with the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans program, have been able to tackle this issue for a number of homeless veterans they have supported by providing the veteran a gently-used vehicle through their Vehicle Donation program that started over three years ago.
The program, unlike those you hear of that will take a working/non-working vehicle and sell it for scrap or at auction, actually provides the new hire with a donated vehicle in working condition for them to keep, no strings attached.
To date, the program created by Post 45 Service Officer Jim Lindenmayer, who is also the founder and director of the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans program, has donated 29 gently-used donated vehicles to veterans in need of transportation who qualify in one of three ways:
• Be at least a 70% SC-disabled veteran who is honorably discharged from military service
• Be a female veteran with small children who is honorably discharged from military service
• Be a homeless or formerly homeless veteran who has obtained a job, has demonstrated they are out of homelessness and is honorably discharged from military service.
According to Lindenmayer, “As The American Legion is a federally registered 501(c)(19) veteran nonprofit, we are able to accept donations and provide a tax receipt for the donor. We then retitle the vehicle to the American Legion post, where we then donate the vehicle to the veteran for $1, making the transaction final. “
Lindenmayer went on to add that getting a vehicle is not a guarantee, as the veteran looking to get a donated vehicle must go through a vetting process whereby they must provide their VA award letter, DD-214, proof of a valid driver’s license and proof of vehicle insurance if they are SC-disabled. If you are a homeless veteran, you must provide proof of job, DD-214, valid driver’s license, proof of insurance as well as have been through the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans program where you have demonstrated that you want to get out of homelessness and back into society. We have turned down over 40 applicants who we have deemed not qualified or meeting any of the three requirements of the program.
.Almost 80% of all vehicles donated to our program come from other veterans, noted Raymond Rollins, Post 45 commander.