Thanks to Almighty God and the Walmart Foundation's check for $ 50,000, we now have an Rv and Angels on Wheels is a reality. It is helping to reduce rural homelessness,especially among Veterans.More help is needed , but it is an awesome start.. Thank you all for taking your time to help.
Rural Homelessness is a big problem in America...The poorest of the poor are being neglected..
The Mission in Citrus Homeless Shelters are located in Citrus County Florida… Our Mission is to help all in need regardless of their Faith or lack of. While we encourage and teach and preach the Gospel, we force it upon no one. It is not a requirement for our services. We lead by example as a shining light. We follow the parable of the Good Samaritan. There are many kind and loving people helping out at many of our local churches, and food pantries,but the real problem is not being addressed. Outreach is the only answer..We spend billions of dollars on prevention and helping people avoid foreclosure, but far too little dollars on those who have already lost everything .
Citrus County has a total of 773 square miles of which 25% is water… The water includes swamps, rivers, and the Gulf. The County has only four homeless shelters which can house less than 10 % of the homeless population. Our rural area makes it very difficult for those in need to reach service providers. In some cases a walk of 15-20 miles is required just for showers, or a hot meal. Many are denied help or benefits as they are hard to reach. Many are disabled Veterans, hardened women and children, and men who feel that they have lost their dignity that do not have access to services. The problem is getting worse due to our present economy… Medical help is next to impossible. They are poor and homeless but need to retain their dignity and respect.Many are not being reached. Our goal is to reach all in need of help.By using formerly homeless men and women as staff ,we will not only create jobs for those in need , but also create a bond with those who have given up on trusting our society.
Imagine this: No hot meals , No showers or baths for days on end, no clean clothes , body sores ,lice, soaked with no way to get dry, cans and bottles and abuse thrown at you all day. Some life huh...The rural homeless veterans, and others live it every day.
Angels on Wheels allows mobile services to all of the homeless Veteran's population of Citrus County, and once proven effective…Surrounding Counties and then Across America. Many rural Veteran populations around the Country are suffering.
The Unit is a mobile food pantry and a counseling center all in one self-contained vehicle. The vehicle has generators, water tanks, and propane tanks enables it to be set up and operated at any location. The counseling center will have satellite phones, TV, computers, and more to provide much needed services as soon as we get more funding.. Our research has shown the need for this vehicle… Mobile service is the only cost effective and realistic answer. The rural Veteran's homeless population is not being effectively helped by any current method in use. Missionaries use good old common sense… If they will not, or cannot come to you, go out and reach out to them…
Locations are being identified that will serve the entire County. This will be accomplished through cooperation with the Homeless Coalition, area shelters, food pantries, Churches, and County service providers.We now operate on Tuesdays in Crystal River, Wednesdays in Homosassa, and Thursdays in Inverness, Florida. We are working on new locations each week to effectively serve all we can, and not to replicate services already provided by the churches and others who are doing an awesome job.
Angels on Wheels will:
- Provide goods and services in five different locations weekly and effectively help the entire homeless Veteran population in Citrus County.
- Provide food pantry and survival items - Food, toiletries, blankets, shoes, grills, bicycles, tents, and much more can be properly handed out and accounted for.
- Provide postal service - Pick up and deliver mail and provide supplies enabling contact with their loved ones.Referral to a VA Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program
- Substance Treatment Employment Program
- Rehabilitation Reintegration Treatment Program
- Referral to Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (VASH)
- Referral to Re-Entry Program (Transitional Housing)
- Evaluation for half-way house placement (VA contract residential treatment)
- Assistance with obtaining DD214
- Referral to disability claims assistance VA, Social Security, SSI
- Help in getting medical and mental health treatment
- Help in finding housing
- Help in finding employment
- Help with finding food, shelter, clothing, and transportation
- Ongoing assistance to help homeless Veterans to achieve their goals
- Referral to contract residential treatment program in Gainesville Florida for drug/alcohol and/or psychiatric stability for up to six months
- Legal Assistance
- Referral to Women Veterans Program
- Weekly showers and laundry services at shelters- Enabling them to job search in proper fashion.
- Computer services to include - Job searches, applying for food stamps or SSI, emailing or finding their loved ones, resumes, and other needed services.
- Provide resources for anger management, Alcohol and drug, and other counseling services.
- Schedule and arrange County transportation.
- Provide help for appointments, grocery shopping, and other need items.
- Provide help with medical and dental treatment.
- Haircuts and cosmetology services
- Help applying for Medicaid, Social Security, or other benefits available.
- Supply newspapers and other news and job search materials.
- Provide an accurate homeless Veteran population count and other statistics to the proper State and Federal agencies.
- Provide information to other County service providers and utilize their services.
- Provide donated clothing, coats, and other needed items.
- Police and monitor the homeless communities. Currently the Sheriff Dept. only investigates reported crime or fires during a burn ban… Many homeless residents are abused, beaten, or bullied by others… On site services would allow us to weed out the homeless communities and put criminals where they belong. In jail or receiving treatment…We would also deter scam artists who panhandle daily and abuse the kindness of others.
Some services are not yet available until further funding is provided.
The only way to end homelessness among Veterans is to bring the Veteran's homeless population and the community together through volunteerism, awareness, kindness, and most of all action. The entire Veteran's homeless population must be reached for this to happen. In rural areas you do not see the homeless as you do in the city… They live in the swamps, woods, under bridges, abandoned homes, and other areas out of sight. They are more often arrested, harassed, and abused due to the lack of help and services. It must end.
Pastor James Sleighter / Founder and President - Another innovative plan to end Veteran homelessness by the Founder of the Mission in Citrus and inspired by God, who deserves all the Praise..Created and planned in 2009..
Program began in 2015..Continues through 2018 -19
Pastor James Sleighter / Founder and President