ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Within three months of launching a collaborative $750,000 veterans' initiative with the Chrysler Liquidating Trust and the Department of Veterans Affairs, the PenFed Foundation has used the program to provide more than $160,000 in aid to veterans living in three major U.S. cities.
Almost 150 veterans have received funding to meet needs ranging from rental and security deposits to public transportation vouchers and basic home furnishings. As the donor, the Chrysler Liquidating Trust stipulated that the funds be distributed where the need is greatest for veterans in the cities of Detroit, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
Unpaid obligations have been identified as major barriers for homeless veterans in search of stable housing. Financial burdens can also place veterans at risk of losing their homes. The PenFed Foundation actively seeks partnerships to harness the strength of multiple organizations. This multi-organizational approach results in greater resources to address issues plaguing veterans head-on.
"No American—particularly one who has served in uniform—should have to go without a place to call home," said PenFed Foundation President and CEO James Schenck. "There are plenty of organizations that want to help, and the PenFed Foundation is playing a key role by bringing them together to ensure more veterans are able to secure their finances and find safe places to live."
Schenck acknowledged, "The VA has expended a great deal of energy and resources on ending veteran homelessness, but we can't expect our government to do it alone. Charitable organizations like the PenFed Foundation, private industry and individuals across our nation are integral parts of the effort to secure homes for all our veterans."
The PenFed Foundation also partners with organizations to drive referrals to its programs which serve veterans all over the country. As a part of the partnership, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Homeless Program staff will identify qualifying veterans. The veterans are ultimately referred to the PenFed Foundation for help through its Military Heroes Fund—a nationwide emergency financial assistance program for veterans.
PenFed Foundation Director of Programs Mark Smith believes that the partnership model is highly effective. Smith said, "We are experiencing a generation of significant momentum as multiple federal agencies and private firms come together for the purpose of helping our veterans. It's a wonderful way to concentrate America's efforts to end homelessness among those who have served our country."
About the PenFed Foundation Founded in 2001, the PenFed Foundation is a national nonprofit organization committed to helping members of our military community secure their financial future. It provides service members, veterans, their families and support networks with the skills and resources they need to improve their lives through programs on financial education, credit-building, home ownership, and short-term assistance. Affiliated with PenFed Credit Union, the foundation has the resources to effectively reach military communities across the nation, build strong partnerships, and engage a dedicated corps of volunteers in its mission. The credit union funds the foundation's personnel and most operational costs, demonstrating its strong commitment to the programs the foundation provides. PenFed Credit Union is federally insured by the NCUA and is an equal housing lender.