UNITED STATES VETERANS INITIATIVE

Rating: 3.29 stars   7 reviews 701

Issues: Homeless & Housing, Human Services, Veterans

Location: 800 West Sixth Street Suite 1505 Los Angeles CA 90017 USA

Mission: Nearly 200,000 veterans will sleep on the streets of this country tonight. This organization provides safe stable housing with coordinated support services so that veterans are able to develop the job skills and life skills that will allow them to successfully rejoin society as productive citizens and family members.
Results: With eleven facil­i­ties in five states and the Dis­trict of Colum­bia, U.S. VETS serves over 2,000 vet­er­ans each day. In a year, U.S. VETS will help 3,000 vet­er­ans find homes and over 1,000 vet­er­ans obtain full-time employ­ment. Since its estab­lish­ment in 1992, thou­sands of at-risk vet­er­ans have ben­e­fited from U.S. VETS ser­vices each year — we have engaged over 100,000 vet­er­ans through out­reach ser­vices, pro­vided res­i­den­tial ser­vices to over 20,000 vet­er­ans, and placed over 8,000 vet­er­ans into jobs.
Write a Review
Donate
Invite Reviews Share This Nonprofit

More Info

EIN 95-4382752
213-542-2600
www.usvetsinc.org

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I experienced the important work of this organization during a Veterans Day dinner at one of their facilities where I was able to serve meals to Veterans. The Veterans in the program seemed very positive, upbeat and were grateful for the support of this organization.

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Well, there is much that I would like to say about this organization's quality of services provided to women vets but my experience falls within the context of women veteran programming at the Long Beach site. Most of my experience with the staff/ administrators of the entire organization left a very negative imprint. There were many acts of negligence, illegal activity, and nepotism on the part of employees throughout the entire structure (corporate & regional). As I would not like to mar the reputation of people who do good work with their hearts in the right place, I must commend the work at the Las Vegas site. But most assuredly, there was an overwhelming amount of deceit, negligence and incompetence with the long-time/ long term employees in administrative, clinical, and day-to-day positions at Long Beach & Inglewood. I can second the comments made on 11/17/13 as far as the amount of danger and insecurity women veterans were exposed to AWP, HVRP, & RENEW. Women vets were treated like children and there was no education-based interpersonal or recovery model used when working with women with dual diagnoses, addiction, and combat-related PTSD, MST in the ADVANCE program. It was my impression that the system did not have any educational or research-based components (except for services rendered by the VA) and basically "felt ok" winging the housing/ employment components because most of the women were at their lowest point (in cognitive/ adaptive functioning) and very afraid of standing up for themselves because of their disenfranchised/ traumatic histories. Many safety concerns were overlooked. Personal items were not safe in homes and at that time, Long Beach did not allow for door locks, yet house managers could barge in on tenants (without notice) or rummage through their belongings at any time. At the time I was associated with Long Beach, it got so bad that the women could not comfortably store food items without the risk of having it tampered so they basically stored everything in their cars/ storage units as a precaution. Furthermore, hygiene items (purchased by the organization) and donations received by concerned community members tended to stockpile in closets & storage units until house supervisors/ case managers took possession of it and bandied about to other department staff (kitchen, employment, and administrative staff). In the past, management turned a blind eye to this type of illegal activity and covered it up by saying they would do something about it. It became very difficult for those of us who waited on those changes in good faith and never saw them implemented. Aside from the exaggerated amount of illegal activity & safety violations in the homes, food was cooked in extremely unhealthy ways. Many of veterans served have dietary restrictions but nothing was done (at the time) to change that problem or make better use of the food served. Another key problem within the US VETS organization, was the Nepotism that appeared to be "status quo" in several departments, between: (1) managers (and managers, and /or staff); (2) case managers and veteran clients (of same or opposite sex); and (3) co-workers. With professional boundaries blurred and little regard for ethical conduct, it became very easy to leave the good intentions of a few and overall mission of the organization. It is refreshing to know that new management in Long Beach has attempted to eradicate such breaches of trust & professionalism (that pervade in this organization). However, it is very difficult for me to believe that things that have gone on to this degree & since its inception will be eradicated at its core. I do wish you the best of luck in your efforts.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Root out long-time employees from top to bottom (Board Members, executive directors, site managers, case managers, day-to-day operations personnel). Once again, I commend the Las Vegas site and hard working job developers/ employment specialists at all sites who are the backbone of this outfit.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Somewhat badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

This organization has major problems. I was affiliated with them for 2 years as a female veteran receiving PTSD/MST services at VA Long Beach. They house females in unlocked, unguarded houses in a questionable environment. I saw several OEF/OIF female veterans leave because they just couldn't handle the unsafe environment. When I first arrived as the facility there was a coordinator with a Ph.D. When I left there wasn't a PhD or Masters to be found on the Advance Women's Program (They chased off two highly qualified counselors with their questionable treatment of female veterans.) Most classes were poorly planned and delivered, often cancelled...except on paper. They are NOT handicapped "friendly." The case managers have a rep for lying to female vets to get them in. They house civilian females with military female vets and treat them as one and the same. They have been reported to the VA OIG several times with changes taking place for short durations...perhaps long enough to say they made them. Even some of the VA Inspectors have had misgivings about this organizations functioning. Although the VA provides them with a large amount of funding they (the VA) assume no responsibility for how veterans are supported or cared for. For over a year the food was deplorable. Numerous complaints were made...nothing done. They had problems staffing the kitchen when it was discovered that employees there were fraudulently completing paperwork for court-ordered community service people. In my opinion this organization is poorly run and it appears the needs of female veterans are not viewed as important enough to address. For a long period items donated for veterans were going home with staff...untaxed benefits for them, nil for vets...just prior to my leaving they stopped accepting donated items at Long Beach. Veterans who are receiving public assistance are required to "pay" what US Vets call "program fees." And, no, I wasn't one of them but I WAS appalled they were permitted to do this.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hire professional, ETHICAL personnel; ensure that the VA does its job over-seeing the various functions of ALL publicly funded non-profits for veterans; (See Kamala Harris, California Attorney General for appropriate oversight) publicly publish a "report card" on organizations proclaiming support of military veterans;

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A little

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 

As the executive director of U.S VETS-Long Beach, I would like to address some of the concerns raised in the November 17, 2013 post. First, it is unfortunate the reviewer had a negative experience as a client in our ADVANCE Women’s Program. Every homeless female veteran who enters our program does so with different expectations as they address challenging issues such as substance abuse, PTSD, military sexual trauma, unemployment, etc. Our goal is to effectively assist each woman in a manner that restores dignity and confidence while providing them with the necessary tools to move forward in their life. Most of the time we are effective in our efforts, but not always. Consequently, we are always trying to improve by offering better training to staff, re-evaluating the effectiveness of our programs, etc. These improvements include some of the issues raised by the reviewer. For instance, this past year we added several safety measures including a key pad entry system, upgraded door and window security and increased staffing during the evening (despite the absence of a specific security threat to our clients). We have recently retained a new Clinical Director who holds a Psy.D with over 15 years of experience as well as a Clinical Supervisor in the Women’s Program. Our relationship with the Veteran’s Administration has never been better as they have supported all of our program upgrades during my first 14 months as director. Lastly, food quality is highly important to our clients. A little over a year ago we retained a new Kitchen Manager who has reduced food complaints to near zero, a feat that is difficult to attain anywhere. U.S. VETS is proud of our Women’s Program and realizes there is always room for improvement. We welcome any and all comments on ways we can better serve our valued female veterans. Posted on behalf of Jim Hansen Executive Director U.S.VETS - Long Beach

Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I've volunteered with U.S. VETS - Los Angeles for many years and they are really an impressive agency. They have been providing services to our community's veterans since long before veteran housing and services was the "in" thing to to.

I prefer to give locally with my money and volunteering and I know that this place is really well run. The leadership is visible and responsive to the residents. They house more than 550 vets at this place but you wouldn't know it being there because they put such a strong focus on getting the vets back to work that you don't see guys just hanging around.

They really go all out for their holiday celebrations for the vets and their families and I see that it makes the vets feel good.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase their marketing and visibility. Most people I tell about them don't know of them which is a shame because they really do amazing work for vets.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Our Veterans should never be homeless on the streets they fought to defend. This organization is wholeheartedly committed to helping homeless Veterans successfully transition from the streets to self sustaining lifestyles. Your donation will go to funding programs that help our heroes make that transition a successful one.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

"I think that the United States Veterans Initiative is a very good program which service the needs of all veterans"!
There are some members of staff however, and especially the workforce that are not very effective when it comes to keeping current with DOL policy and procedures.
For example:
Under VEVRAA of 1974, there are laws requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to affirmatively recruit, hire, train and promote qualified people with disabilities and veterans.
In my opinion workforce is not fully assessing the rules and requirements under Section 503 of this Act.
As a member of labor within workforce it should be their responsibility to utilize every available resource to assist veterans in getting a job.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Provide proper and aggressive training to those staff members at Workforce in approaching and implementing the rules and requirements under Section 503. 1) How to identify which companies are affected. 2) What steps to take to ensure that qualified veterans are informed. 3) Establish the criteria for hiring veterans, etc

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Some

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Likely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Okay

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
profile
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Im a veteran and had called this agency due to me being evicted. I have been transferred from operator to operator and then to a voicemail. I have left a message to two different people to help me in my situation and so far, I haven't received a call back. *UPDATE* This organization is useless. They tell me that I exceed the income criteria and that they cannot help me, not even a housing referral. Please do not go to these people and do not donate your hard earning money.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 

At U.S.VETS we strive to provide veterans with the best possible care. In an organization that provides services for 10,000 veterans each year occasionally an oversight will occur, or we simply will not have the service that fulfills your needs. We appreciate the time you have taken to bring this to our attention. Please contact our National office directly at 213.542.2600 or at info@usvetsinc.org so we can provide you with the assistance you deserve. Thank you, Stephen G at U.S.VETS