After 25 years specializing in Gift Planning, I have formed "VertRep Consulting, LLC"-- whose initial mission is to help the small nonprofits dedicated to serving the many needs of our fellow veterans, by giving them access to the same kind of full-time expertise that only wealthier nonprofits can typically afford.
In addition to helping veterans' service organizations raise more money from individuals, I am also looking for wealth management clients who might like to take advantage of gift planning techniques that can turn highly appreciated assets into impactful gift assets--generating additional charitable income tax deductions, in some cases lifetime income, and transformational gifts to their selected 501c3's.
While negative press about the misuse of resources and inappropriate spending has sidelined many potential donors to veterans’ service organizations, there are still plenty of generous individuals out there, and no shortage of opportunities for them to make impactful contributions to veterans’ organizations in our communities.
Small nonprofits deserve access to the same kind of full-time expertise that only wealthier nonprofits can afford, and which I cannot afford to give for free. VertRep will, however, increase funding for their charitable missions, allow their staff more time to focus on their missions, incentivize greater transparency in their operations, and fundamentally change the lives of men and women suffering from service-connected disabilities such as TBI, PTSD, and depression.
Your investment in my consulting operation will allow me to reach out to more of those veterans’ service organizations in the Northeast US, offer deep discounts to those willing to engage my services, and unleash potential donors who have been uncertain about the impact of their gifts. Our goal together will be to foster a sea change in the effectiveness, efficiency, coordination, and transparency of all these organizations.
Your investment could fuel our collective efforts and support our veterans— who, having served our country, now deserve a fair chance to live peaceful and productive lives as neighbors, friends, and fellow citizens.
According to the 2016 Census, there were 19,535,341 veterans living in the US, and 5,428,640 (27.8%) had a service-connected disability rating
2,621,361 of those veterans were living in the 7 Northeast States (NY, CT, MA, RI, ME, NH, & VT), and 426,119 (16%) of those veterans have service-connected disabilities. And who knows how many others have undocumented issues connected to their military service?
There are 2,871 Veterans Service Non-Profits in the 7-Northeastern States, and 897 in MA & CT. Of those in MA & CT, 270 have gross receipts greater than $100,000, and only 73 greater than $1 million.
Across the nation, roughly 22 veterans are dying by suicide every day and more than 39,000 are homeless on any given night!
VertRep offers free initial consultations, flexible contractual arrangements, and increased funding for all charitable missions. *************************************************************
STATEMENT OF SHURHONDA Y. LOVE, ASSISTANT NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS’ AFFAIRS SUBCOMMITTEES ON HEALTH AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, JANUARY 18, 2018:
“As you know, homelessness is a complex problem often stemming from mental illness, substance use disorders, unemployment, lack of basic independent life skills and disabilities. Homeless individuals often struggle with several of these issues concurrently.
For veterans, homelessness can be further complicated by unsuccessful attempts to reintegrate into families, careers, and communities after deployments. Service-incurred or exacerbated disabilities, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, traumatic brain injury or other physical disabilities can further complicate these issues.
For the most part the federal government’s enhanced efforts to assist homeless veterans in recent years has been a good news story. Since 2009, homelessness among veterans has decreased by almost half (46 percent); between 2015 and 2016 the number of homeless veterans decreased by 17 percent. Some states and communities have declared that their homeless veterans’ populations have been virtually eliminated. VA and advocates often credit VA’s “Housing First” policy with its success. Securing stable housing with aggressive case management is often the linchpin to obtaining the services and benefits veterans need to launch their recovery.
The bad news is that there are now indicators that some of the remarkable progress made on reducing homelessness among veterans may be eroding, particularly in high-cost metropolitan areas such as New York City and Los Angeles where affordable housing is scarce. Los Angeles City and County alone identified a 26 percent increase in homelessness between 2016 and 2017.
This led to a slight increase in homelessness among veterans overall (1.4 percent between 2016 and 2017). According to HUD, individuals with long-term disabling conditions were the most likely to be affected by homelessness during this past year.
The National Coalition on Homeless Veterans (NCHV) also indicates that flat funding for many of the VA’s pillar programs in fiscal year (FY) 2018 will not be sufficient to ensure the federal government continues to make progress reducing the number of homeless veterans.
In particular it is concerned about the VETS HVRP programs in DOL (flat funded for more than a decade) and that funding for Supportive Services for Veterans Families—a program that assists veterans and families at risk for homelessness to remain in permanent housing—are not sufficient to support demand for veterans’ needs. They are also concerned that there are no new requests for HUD-Vouchers. HUD-VASH is credited as the program most responsible for the reduction of veterans living on the street. As a top priority of the previous administration the HUD-VASH program grew from $5 million to almost $500 million. In 2016, VA reports it used almost 80,000 vouchers and housed 72,481 veterans. According to HUD, since 2010, the HUD/VASH program has helped almost 480,000 veterans and their families with housing, re-housing or preventing homelessness. . .
Homelessness is defined under the McKinney-Vento Act as occupying public or private space not generally intended or used for sleeping, including living in the streets, cars, or those residing in emergency shelters. Some advocates believe this definition actually underestimates the population, particularly for women who are more likely to stay in unsafe housing situations (such as those with abusive domestic partners) in order to remain housed.
According to researchers, veterans are at greater risk of homelessness than civilian peers. Approximately 80 percent of homeless veterans have mental health conditions or substance use disorders. PTSD and service in Iraq or Afghanistan are modest risk factors for experiencing homelessness, but socioeconomic status and behavioral health are more significant risk factors.
For both women and men, being black and unmarried are significant risk factors. Recipients for disability compensation are at lower risk of homelessness, possibly because the steady income may assist a veteran in obtaining stable housing.
Women veterans are at especially high risk of homelessness (with increased risk of 2.4 percent compared to 1.4 percent of male veterans). Loss of employment and dissolution of marriages contributes to women being at higher risk for homelessness and living in poverty than civilian peers or male veterans. Homeless women veterans tend to be younger than male peers, and 21 percent of women veterans have dependent children and they are 8 percent more likely to have non-military related PTSD. They are more likely to seek intensive services for treatment of mental health issues than their male peers. Additionally, because of their increased likelihood of having dependents which gives them priority for housing vouchers, women are 19-20 percent more likely to be referred to HUD-VASH programs than men. For these reasons, policy changes effectuating cuts to homeless programs may be particularly perilous for them.
VA has several evidence-based practices being used to assist homeless veterans including Mission-Vet (Maintaining Independence and Sobriety through System Integration) and Getting to Outcomes. These practices are targeted at veterans with co-occurring morbidities and are shown to keep veterans in housing placements more effectively than usual practice. About half of the veterans who have used HUD-VASH vouchers have accomplished their goals or no longer require services. Most leave the program after identifying appropriate benefits or securing employment.
Grant and per diem (GPD) programs, which provide transitional housing and supportive services through community agencies, are another important stepping stone to stable housing and recovery for disabled homeless veterans. In 2016, more than 16,500 veterans exited these programs to permanent housing; however, without the support of case management for HUD- VASH vouchers many veterans using these programs will likely struggle more to achieve stable, independent housing and lives.
In addition to housing programs, VA offers health care services specifically for homeless veterans and a range of mental health programs that meet their needs. Domiciliary programs offer a therapeutic environment for many homeless veterans, allowing them to seek intensive treatment for substance use disorders and mental health conditions. Psychosocial rehabilitation, often provided through the domiciliaries is another program from which it appears that funds are being diverted. Some veterans also seek vocational rehabilitation through VHA’s compensated work therapy programs. Unfortunately, some of the centralized funding for many of the supportive mental health and mental health research programs administering and improving care for homeless and other veterans has also been released to the field. While the effect of the releasing centralized funds may not have the same dramatic impact on VA’s mental health programs it would on the supported housing programs, the release of these funds may impact the overall quality of the mental health services upon which many veterans rely.
The Department of Labor (DoL) also offers a job-focused, case-managed approach to assisting homeless veterans with job training, search and placement services through the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP). As homeless veterans become stable, these programs can offer assistance with vocational rehabilitation and even remedial academic skills to bolster their ability to live and work independently. The HVRP is funded under veterans’ programs but administered under DoL Veterans Employment Training Services. DAV has been a long-term supporter of adequate funding and permanency for veterans’ employment and/or training programs (Resolution No. 251).
Since FY 2002, Congress has authorized $50 million for this program doing so again for FY 2018. However, over time the value of this authorization has eroded. In FY 2015, DoL claims HVRP exceeded its target of placing 65 percent of program participants in jobs (it placed 69 percent of participants). It also exceeded its target of placing 62 percent of women participants in jobs (it placed 68 percent of women participants). It also did so at a significantly lower cost per participant than it estimated ($2,007 compared to $2,242).
Given the long-term success and efficiency of the program, Congress should add funds to compensate for inflation and meet veterans’ increased demand for these services.
Mr. Chairman, VA can be proud of the comprehensive array of services it provides to homeless veterans, but it cannot reduce funding levels for the program or leave it to local management to determine priorities and expect to see the same results and success rate of reducing veterans’ homelessness. VA must continue its commitment as stated until no veteran has to call the street his or her home. . .”
A Groton and Wesleyan grad, Pete flew helicopters on active duty in the Navy for six years before embarking on a career in charitable gift planning that has since spanned three decades. As the Gift Planning Director for Groton School, University of Hartford, Virginia Tech, and The Cooper Union from 1994-2018, Pete proposed, negotiated, consulted, or closed on more than $147 million of planned gifts from wealthy individuals. Pete now runs his own consulting practice and enjoys serving small non-profits, connecting them to wealthy prospects in ways they never could before.
A veteran-owned small business that seeks to serve nonprofits of all kinds, and especially those that have limited access to experienced, full-time development staff dedicated to fostering individual donor relationships.
Founder, Peter H. Congleton