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Visiting PAServes: Veterans Place

Matt Feldhaus wanted to share some photos and experiences from his recent trip to Pittsburgh to visit PAServes! They definitely help to showcase both IVMF and the AmericaServes program as being community focused.

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“This panoramic view showcases the Veterans Place living spaces for their veterans guests enrolled in their transition housing program. Each townhouse allows 2 veterans to share some living spaces but have their independent room. I got to tour a townhouse and the veterans were proud to show how clean and tidy they kept it, I really got a sense of pride from the guests. ”

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“The goal of Veterans Place is stated as “to facilitate Veterans’ transition¬†from homeless to home, becoming engaged, valuable citizens who contribute to their communities.¬†The executive director, Marlon Ferguson, was proud to tell me about their various services that can help their veteran guests, like financial counseling, coaching, and of course, the use of the PAServes network.”

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“This photo of me and Marlon, despite it’s comedic nature, him being so darn tall, was at the end of an almost 2 hour chat Mark (from PAServes CC) and myself had. Besides getting to know each other, and talk a bit about our shared military experiences, it was a wonderful opportunity to get to know the providers and hear their side of the story. I’m always curious to know, how or why, they chose this path. It’s a blessing to get to meet these individuals, who share in their dedication to not only change one veterans life, but be a link in the entire chain that will make a difference in the system that serves veterans. It was also a great opportunity to hear Mark talk about the PAServes program and really share his side of the story and why he has found it beneficial.”

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“The final photo shows the two main faces of Veterans Place, Kathleen and Marlon. Kathleen serves as a lead case worker, so she is a person that utilizes the network and is working everyday with the various guests living and residing in the Veterans Place community. She shared with me one reason she loves the PAServes network is she had an individual that had various needs that she unfortunately could not completely solve. She took the time and entered the individual into the network, creating a referral and sending it onwards. The next day, she loved the fact she could call up Dave at the CC and follow up to ensure he was being taken care of and such. Dave was able to find out a bit more, share a bit about the game plan, and give her actual answers. She said this was such a change, rather than hoping and wishing that person received proper care, being able to check up and have a system in place.

Overall, the entire experience was another great learning experience about relationship dynamics and the strong sense of pride the communities have in helping THEIR veterans. At the end of the day, they just want to give the best help, to the most number of veterans, and have decided that utilizing the America Serves program and methodology will help facilitate that goal. I look forward to further meeting providers and building those relationships. “

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