THE HOME FRONT CARES Overview
Target demographics: Service members, veterans and their families
Direct beneficiaries per year: In FY2012, we provided grants to more than 530 Colorado military families.
Someone who had 3 hours of volunteer time could: greet flights of soldiers coming home from war as part of our Welcome Home Heroes program, staff an information/donation booth at a community event, or help with our annual fundraising dinner or golf tournament.
Geographic areas served: Colorado
Programs: The Home Front Cares is devoted to providing urgent emergency financial aid and other support for Colorado veterans and military families. Programs include:
General Fund/Grants to Families: Provides one-time grants to families in need due to unforeseen circumstances aggravated by deployment of a parent/spouse or separation from the service. Childcare, transportation, household repairs, and other “survival” expenses are among items covered. The average grant currently exceeds $1,000. In Fiscal 2011, we provided aid to nearly 350 veterans and families—a 39% increase over 2010. This aid provides a critical bridge to struggling military families, as the average veteran must wait 14 months for VA medical and financial benefits to process and begin. This need will increase significantly as some 100,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen leave the service in the next few years.
Energy Assistance Fund: Pays utility bills for military families through grants from Energy Outreach Colorado, augmented by our general fund. In FY2011, we gave more than 180 families a total of $102,000 in aid. As with our other programs, we anticipate this need will only increase.
Veteran Adaptive Housing Modification Provides financial support for home modifications necessary for disabled service members. Since our inception, we have provided $44,500 to help wounded and disabled veterans complete home modifications that let them safely navigate their homes and perform many tasks that we take for granted, such as turning on a water faucet. As the military continues to discharge these wounded warriors, this need will continue to grow.
Welcome Home GWOT (Global War on Terror) Heroes Fund An important morale-builder that shows returning soldiers that their community welcomes and appreciates them. Volunteers from The Home Front Cares meet every plane that arrives in Colorado Springs carrying soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. We hand every returning service member a cheeseburger and soda, greet them and thank them for their service. This program also supports family members to visit wounded loved ones out of state in military hospitals and to attend memorial services, as well as welcoming ceremonies for soldiers and families, unit activities, and other functions that are not readily covered by existing military or nonprofit infrastructure. In May 2012 alone, more than 120 volunteers worked well over 200 hours to welcome two dozen flights carrying nearly 3,500 troops coming home from the war in Afghanistan.