As a Veteran Service Officer in Bremer County, Iowa, we often come into contact with homeless veterans. In August of 2010, we came in contact with a unique veteran named George and his dog Pluto. He had spent his last few dollars on a hotel room in Waverly, Iowa and had made contact with our local United Way who then made contact with us. We found the veteran and discovered that he had walked over 300 miles with his dog and intended to walk to Alaska to “work the oil fields.” After some discussion, we also discovered that George had attempted suicide the very morning we came into contact with him. We immediately brought him to the hospital where he was admitted for suicidal ideations and dehydration.
After his discharge, we worked with this veteran, everyday, until he was permanently housed, nearly four months after arriving in Waverly.
George and the many George’s that followed planted a seed. What we discovered over the next few years was that when we referred our veterans to permanent housing organizations, 63% of them would return to us within a year and homeless again. If we housed them ourselves, to date, 100% of our veterans are still permanently housed. We decided that a shelter of our own would benefit our veterans more than any other local resource and we were afforded that opportunity when a home owner offered their home for use as a shelter.
After a year of trying to make the home work as a government entity, we split ties and created our own nonprofit.
In September 2015, Rally Point Cedar Valley Veterans opened it’s first transitional shelter for active duty military, veterans, their families and their pets knowing that we had approximately three years until the home would be demolished by the home’s owner. The shelter, LZ Phoenix, is the only one of its kind in Iowa since it allows for any individual who served on active duty at least one day to stay, with their families and with their four-legged family members. Additionally, no members of the staff or Board of Directors are paid so that every penny raised goes directly towards the success of our residents.
Our nonprofit has served over 20 families and their pets as we’ve feverishly been raising funds for a new home. That’s where we need your help! To date, we’ve funded every expenditure with $5 and $10 community donations. Your donation, however small, can help put us into a new home and continue our mission of creating a safe, stable and sustainable home for our veterans and their families.
All donations are tax deductible since Rally Point Cedar Valley Veterans is recognized as a nonprofit organization 501(c)(3) per IRS Code 432.56.215-B.
Bremer County VA