Previously Homeless Veterans Receive Donated Beds
Starting August 15th, Ashley Furniture will deliver and donate 30 mattresses to 15 veterans and their families who are clients or previous clients of Volunteers of America of Indiana (VOAIN). Tempur-Pedic donated the mattresses as part of Ashley Furniture's "Buy 1 Give 1" event that occurred from July 11 – August 8. Additional furniture for the mattresses will be donated by the Bosler family, who own the Ashley Furniture store in Evansville. Deliveries will begin on August 15th and run through Labor Day.
"We worked with VOAIN in the past through our Hope to Dream program, so when we decided to launch our 'Buy 1 Give 1' event I reconnected with them," said Meggie Newton, the Sales Manager at Ashley Furniture. "After learning about Volunteers of America of Indiana's thorough services for our military veterans, we fell in love with their work. I am excited that we get to support this very worthy cause."
Veterans and families receiving the mattresses are current and previous participants in the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program at VOAIN. SSVF provides intensive case management to homeless veterans and veterans at-risk of becoming homeless and their families. The program uses a housing first model to help veterans find a home and community resources that help them build stable lives.
Many of the veterans and veteran families enrolled in the SSVF program have little to no belongings. Gaining basic household items builds hope for them, since it supports the reality of living in a real home instead of the street or a shelter.
One of these veterans is Steve Melton, who served in the Army on active duty. Since 2012, Steve has gone in and out of homelessness, but thanks to help from SSVF he moved into his new apartment on August 3rd. Currently he sleeps on an air mattress, so he is excited to receive a brand new mattress set that will make his apartment feel more like a home.
Veteran homelessness is on the rise. According to the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), from 2014-2015 the number of total homeless people in Indiana decreased by 15%, but the number of homeless veterans increased by 13%. VOAIN aims to decrease this number in Indiana, and is grateful for help from Ashley Furniture.The SSVF program in Evansville is required to serve at least 85 homeless veterans and their families per year, but on average serves 100 per year. SSVF is funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The program in Evansville serves the following counties: Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick.