HOMELESS VETS HELPED: Announcing a new program to help Oklahoma homeless veterans have greater access to transitional living services are Tom Bray, executive director, 12 & 12, Congressman John Sullivan and Aam Walmus, director of the Muskogee V.A. Part of the plan is to remodel a building for a 31-bed facility in Tulsa.
D. J. MORROW INGRAM for GTR Newspapers
Oklahoma homeless veterans in recovery will have greater access to transitional living services thanks to a new 31-bed facility operated by 12 & 12, Inc., a Center for Addiction Treatment and Recovery and funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“This cooperative partnership between 12 & 12 and the VA will provide a much needed service to many men and women in Oklahoma who have served this country and continue to face personal struggles,” said Tulsa Congressman John Sullivan. “By providing a secure, safe, drug-free environment in which to live, work and receive counseling, these veterans will have the opportunity to get their lives back together and return to their families and communities as productive citizens.”
The 31-bed facility located at 1214 S. Baltimore Ave. will more than double the number of spaces available in Oklahoma dedicated to transitional living for homeless veterans who are in recovery from addiction. The VA funds a similar program in Oklahoma City with 15 beds devoted to transitional living for substance abuse.
“This new project with 12 & 12 will add to our ability to serve those Oklahoma veterans who answered their country’s call to serve during its greatest times of need and now are in need themselves, said Adam Walmus, newly appointed director of the Muskogee VA Medical Center. Walmus previously served as associate director of the VA Medical Center in Houston.
The VA Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program Capital Grant provided to 12 & 12 is one of 72 grants worth nearly $14 million distributed to public, private non-profit and faith-based groups for programs assisting homeless veterans. 12 & 12 will receive $400,000 for renovation of the 13-unit apartment building from the VA and the organization will raise more than $375,000 in private funds from the region. Once the facility is operational, 12 & 12 will receive funding for veterans in the program and the participants of the program will pay rent as they return to work and become more self-sufficient.
Renovation has begun and the program is projected to begin in March.
“We are extremely pleased and excited about the potential of this facility and program dedicated to veterans. 12 & 12 has an on-going relationship with the VA Medical Center in Muskogee to provide residential treatment services and transitional living for VA homeless in our current facility. This new facility will expand our ability to address the specific needs of veterans,” said Tom Bray, executive director of 12 & 12.