PATH Combating Veteran Homelessness
In 1983, concerned community members on Los Angeles’ Westside started People Assisting The Homeless (PATH) to support for their unhoused neighbors, including veterans. Today, PATH continues to provide housing services across California, including housing, case management, mental healthcare, and employment training – all of which help individuals maintain stable housing.
Partnership with the Bob Woodruff Foundation
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic added new challenges to housing service providers and veterans specifically. Disease transmission was higher in congregate living facilities like homeless shelters, and people experiencing homelessness had a higher prevalence of medical conditions associated with severe disease. Veterans, in particular, were negatively affected by social isolation during the pandemic, with a high risk of isolation worsening mental health challenges, according to original research published by the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
The Bob Woodruff Foundation and NFL teamed up to support PATH and veterans experiencing homelessness during the pandemic through an NFL-BWF Healthy Lifestyles and Creating Community grant. The grant improved the well-being of 60 post-9/11 veterans by fostering and establishing social through technology; it also provided emergency financial assistance to veterans with complex medical needs residing in PATH’s shelter.
Veteran Homelessness in California Remains a Major Challenge
Three years later, veteran homelessness continues to be a significant challenge in Southern California. The warm climate and proximity to military bases draw a significant veteran population to San Diego. According to the 2022 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, on a single night, 686 veterans found themselves without a place to call home in San Diego, or 12 percent of the local homeless population (compared to 8 percent statewide). Many of these veterans experiencing homelessness are also navigating post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorder, and other health challenges combined with difficulty accessing appropriate healthcare.
Renewed NFL-BWF Salute to Service Grant Funding
PATH is one of the best-positioned service providers to support veterans experiencing homelessness in San Diego. This fall, we were delighted to announce PATH’s second NFL-BWF Salute to Service Grant, expanding PATH’s support to San Diego veterans living in their transitional housing.
“PATH’s partnership with NFL-BWF is equipping our highest-need unhoused veterans with the support, tools, and opportunities to achieve housing, financial, and health stability. NFL-BWF’s funds are helping PATH address homelessness on multiple levels, both immediate and long-term, developing lasting and sustainable solutions for veterans,” stated Jennifer Hark Dietz, chief executive officer of PATH.
You can learn more about the NFL-BWF Partnership here.