Wednesday, I started my practicum with the Veteran’s Northeast Outreach Center in Haverhill. VNOC is a non-profit organization which helps homeless veterans find housing and reintegrate back into society. Some of the veterans served have spent a large part of their lives in and out of shelters, while others are younger veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.
The goals for the program are the same for both of these groups. First, VNOC provides them with a place to live at one of their centers (apartment-style rooms in houses) and reteach the veterans necessary to keep a house running smoothly (keeping their rooms/shared areas clean). Simultaneously, the program helps the veterans find tools and resources to find their own long-term housing. Most of the residents stay with VNOC for about one year before moving on to their own long-term housing. During the duration of the program, VNOC helps the veterans deal with physical and mental health issues through the VA. This is where I will be primarily helping out.
I personally got to work on my first case management on my first day. I was able to work directly with a veteran and helped him address the issues he faced at the time. In the upcoming weeks and months, I will get to work in individual sessions, as well as running group sessions to help address the mental health needs of the residents. Honestly, I can’t wait to get to work more with this group. Along with being an excellent opportunity to help veterans who have served our country, this is a unique experience that I’m going to be taking part in.
Song of the week:
Gimme Shelter is not only a protest tune about the Vietnam War, but possibly the Stones’ greatest song.