Just over four years ago the Cherokee County Homeless Veteran Program along with Post 45 in Canton, Ga., provided a used Chevy Suburban to a local 100% SC-disabled veteran to replace the 20-yr.-old truck purchased through a VA one-time vehicle grant that no longer worked. With a family of four to provide for, and house and other payments, there was no extra money to pay for a new vehicle.
This began what has turned into a great program serving veterans who are at least 70% SC VA P&T disabled, single female Veteran who has small children and cannot afford a vehicle, or were formerly homeless and in need of a vehicle to land a better-paying job. According to program architect Jim Lindenmayer, director for CCHVP and service officer for Post 45, this program has helped local and now other veterans around our area solve transportation issues they faced. We have provided working/operational vehicles to veterans of all three categories to help them improve their lives and get back into society. Since we are a 501(c)(19) veteran nonprofit, the person donating the vehicle gets to write off the vehicle against their taxes. .
Just recently, our program provided vehicles to two disabled veterans who were also at least 90% SC-disabled. One was a former Army combat engineer who found himself homeless for several months after being deployed and out of the Army in Florida. He ended up coming to stay on his sister’s couch locally and one day called our program for some help. According to Lindenmayer, “We had just worked with a local electrical company to see if we could find veterans for them to hire, and the timing of the call and the MOS of the veteran fell into place. Within 24 hours of the veteran's call, we had worked up a resume, got him the job interview and he was hired on the spot. The only issue was that he needed transportation to get to the job, and this program awarded him a pickup truck with 300,000 miles for $1. He has now fixed up his truck with help from the post’s Veteran Vocational Scholarship fund and is now fully back into the workforce and the community he never initially belonged to.
A second homeless disabled veteran is the mother of 2-year-old twins. Working with Operation Rally Point and their director and Iraq Army veteran Brandon Watts, we were able to qualify the veteran for a vehicle and donate it to her within 10 days of being contacted about her situation and need.