Search & Rescue Program
Search and Rescue is a two-pronged outreach program: Street Outreach for unsheltered homeless veterans and their dependents, and referral/direct contact driven outreach for at-risk of homelessness veterans and their families. For unsheltered veterans our teams go out into the streets of our community to locate them, provide basic needs (food, outdoor gear, etc…), and connect them to the VA, housing agencies, and benefits application specialists to get them rapidly housed and self-sustaining. For at-risk veterans we review their financial and legal situation, work with landlords to pause evictions, help them secure financial assistance needed to keep them in their homes, and work with pro bono attorneys to resolve legal issues that are preventing a stabilized life.
Additionally, under the Search and Rescue program, our veterans are assisted by 2 large scale annual outreach events. During our Thanksgiving events we prepare and deliver meals to homeless and low-income veterans throughout Brevard.
During our Warm Full Safe event, homeless veterans and dependents are put into hotel rooms and given hot meals and gifts on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and at-risk veteran households are provided financial assistance to keep them in their homes with the utilities on during the month of December.
Community collaboration is key to the success of the program, as we work with any organization that offers a service that is beneficial to our clients. When our clients are ready to move out of the woods, we rapidly connect them to programs that have space available and fit the needs of our clients, whether it is a transitional group home or a permanent home with a lease. From there we focus on developing their income through VA Benefits and employment opportunities.
NVHS Search & Rescue is the only program of its kind in the State of Florida. We find this program to be the primary catalyst for making a difference. We do not wait for our clients to find our office, we go and find them.