Outreach- Using the Guidelines set out by the Federal McKinney-Vento act, our all Volunteer staff work as our Veterans Outreach- not just Counselors or board. This includes going out in the local community, not necessarily shelters or community centers, but local woods, homeless gathering sites, local sites where Veterans who are homeless "survivors" often accumulate or try to blend in with their surroundings, even local events. This team is a vital part of our local interactions, as well as this team is our direct ties to:
- AA, District 19 & Area 34 -the Keene Community Network Team -Easter Seals
- Southwest Community Services -Friends of Veterans -Easter Seals & Vets Count
- Local DAV, VFW, & American Legion Chapters , including VVA Chapter 1034
Our team of Veterans is our Team that runs Veterans to VA's, goes to shelters or into the "woodline" to track homeless Vets, runs our AA program, coordinate care with the VA CBOC or local care providers, and help run our food & clothing shelves for Veterans in crisis and need. From 2015 to 2018, that included:
-placing 13 local Veterans in permanent housing [non-HUD/VASH].
-Our yearly feeding local Veterans who are homeless or alone, at Thanksgiving, [Pictures from past Cookouts can be seen below].
-Weekly cookouts, rain or shine, for Veterans.
-From 2015 through 2018, RUCK-UP has given over 16 & 1/2 TONS of food to Vets in need or were homeless, averaging over 4&1/4 tons per year.
-Outreach work includes the yearly Memorial Day Weekend Candlelight Vigil held in the Center of Keene each year, (for 13 years now) on Memorial Day Weekend to help Veterans come to peace with their losses, and reach out to other Veterans. [Pictures from past Vigils can be seen below].
-Included in the Outreach is our continuing efforts with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention [AFSP}, in trying to bring the message and efforts home at preventing suicide amongst the Veteran population. When we first began participating in the National WALK OUT OF DARKNESS that AFSP hosts to help with this drive to raise awareness, 5 local Vets did the Walk-in NYC 5 years ago. This last year 46 of us stepped forward to say that the loss of 22 Veterans a day to Suicide is unacceptable. [PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT OUR WALK OUT OF THE DARKNESS TAB].
Outreach to us is any of us REACHING OUT to a Brother or Sister Veteran!