Although I would not use the vocabulary as the reviewer REXX4411 did in his review of this charity I must agree with his assessment of U.S. Vets Long Beach.
I too am a veteran client residing at the Long Beach location and I'm currently in the SILS Program. I must agree with REXX4411 , most of the US Vets employees, our case managers, are lazy and do the very minimum for the clients here. Most of the time it take some prodding for these people to do their jobs and it shouldn't be that way.
The food here is pretty bad I must admit and some of the other veterans living here are dirty and unsanitary. However, staff here does very little to ensure the living quarters are clean and remain clean and this is probably because they get to go home every night.
There is no security on the property and people do use drugs and alcohol in public view on a fairly regularly basis with no fear. Kids and pets run wild with no discipline from parents or owners and this bothers me and the other older vets this I know. Complaints go unanswered by staff and management comes across as very disconnected when it comes to maintaining a pulse of what's going on here. Staff and management talk a good game when it comes to caring about vets here but they certainly don't walk the walk.
This website Great Nonprofits seems OK enough but I wonder why more reputable charity-related websites such as Charity Navigator and Charity Watch are not referenced and studied by potential donors before contributing? Per Charity Navigator: This organization is not eligible to be rated by Charity Navigator because, as a service for individual givers, we only rate organizations that depend on support from individual contributors and foundations. Organizations such as this, that get most of their revenue from the government or from program services, are therefore not eligible to be rated. Visit the Methodology section of our site to learn about our criteria for evaluating charities.
US Vets claims on its website that $.88 of every dollar donated goes directly to veteran services but this is very deceiving. Charities often try to encourage donations by making claims related to how much they spend on the programs that support their mission. This makes sense, especially for charities that can tout a high percentage of program spending, since studies show that donors prefer giving to charities that spend considerably more on programs than on fundraising and general administrative functions. The trouble is that there are a few ways that program percentages can be misleading, and one of the ways is when charities claim that a certain portion of every dollar "donated" goes to programs, when in actuality, the percentage cited is the portion of every dollar "spent" that goes to programs. Follow me here folks please....................
.........The basic difference in claiming "every dollar donated" versus "every dollar spent" is that in the first case, the program percentage is based on the ratio of program spending relative to the charity's inflow of total donations while in the second case, it is based on the ratio of program spending relative to the charity’s outflow of total expenses. Those two ratios will yield different (sometimes vastly different) percentages almost all of the time, with the exception being in rare circumstances where a charity raises only unrestricted donations that are equal to (or almost equal to) its total expenses for the year.
I would be very willing to bet this claim by U.S. Vets in inaccurate and possible flat out WRONG! I suggest any potential donors do some serious homework before even thinking about donating to this place because in my opinion this charity is not as advertised. I make this claim based on the many problems and issues I've encountered here at US Vets Long Beach. No outside independent third party audits this charity's books and we all know how creative and nonsensical a CPA can be when it comes to preparing tax returns for a paying client.
I'm going to find REXX4411 and compare experiences with him because this place needs to be held accountable for its work, something that is not being done currently. We're going to call US Vets out as being bush if that's what's needed and make sure some bright lights shine on areas here where they presently don't. If the board of directors here is found to be inactive and complacent in terms of making this charity the very best it should be when it comes to taking care of veterans who proudly served this great nation, these folks can get on down the road because we're not putting up with this $*#%@ any further.
America's veterans deserve a hell of a lot better than this!
I am currently a homeless veteran and client living at U.S. Vets Long Beach and I've been here for over two months. I read a review from a female vet which was posted in November, 2013. She cited the many problem this placed had at the time and was completely accurate and honest in her blasting of this non-profit. NOTHING HAS CHANGED HERE AT U.S. VETS LONG BEACH! It's still a mess and a terrible non-profit organization, do not be fooled by these fabricated feel good reviews. I'm in the VIP Program currently. The U.S. Vets staff here is terrible and that might explain why turnover among its employees is so incredibly high. Good people begin work here but do not stay long. I've been told by numerous U.S. Vets employees the reason they left was because they despised the way this place treats veterans. I couldn't agree with them more. This place could care less about helping veterans all it cares about is keeping beds full so it can get as much money as possible. Vets here are treated terribly by not only U.S. Vets employees but VA employees too. Housing in the VIP Program is horrible. The houses are filthy and at least one (29-2) is infested with roaches. The food in the cafeteria is awful too. Employees are rude and act like they don't want to be here. U.S Vets gets a lot of free help at its Long Beach location by bringing in temporary employees for 10 month periods who are paid by the county. Rules are NEVER enforced around this place they're only posted for show. Clients use drugs and alcohol around here all over the place with no fear of punishment. Clients bring pets in here and they run wild as if this is a dog park. Management here is spineless and allows people to do whatever they want, it's a joke but not a very funny one I can assure you that. VA staff in the VVRC harass clients they don't like and treat them badly! The integrity of both U.S. Vets staff and VA employees is suspect too. My VA social worker encouraged me to file a false disability claim for hearing loss and actually did it for me. I never even saw what he wrote in the claim nor did I sign it what's up with that? Please don't wonder why the VA is as messed up as it is when you have things like this going on. Complaints to the VA OIG go unanswered and nothing but lip service is given to legitimate complaints received by management here. The US Vets website is not working half the time. Just yesterday I tried to utilize the email contact function on the US Vets website but it was broken so I couldn't send an email. The contact employees listed on the U.S. Vets website for Long Beach are long gone and this information is antiquated to say the very least. THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT ANYTHING HERE!!!!!! Believe me when I tell you this. I recently had a very valid complaint brought to the attention of the executive director here and she failed miserably in her handling of it so I had to contact Congressman Lowenthal to get anything done. When vets here have to go to our congressman to get something done that speaks volumes about this place and none of it good. If you doubt what I say come down here and talk to some clients yourself you will find I am not embellishing anything. Everything I say here is absolutely true! U.S. Vets Long Beach uses its non-profit status to lead the public to believe it's doing a lot of good things for our veterans when in fact it is not. How the executive director here keeps her job is beyond me perhaps the board of directors could answer that? The second in charge here was recently dismissed for "doing things he should not have" is what clients here were told. This place gets a big fat "F" when it comes to taking care of veterans that is for sure! THERE IS A LOT WRONG WITH THIS PLACE THAT IS A FACT!
My name is Daniel. I am a landlord in Phoenix AZ.
I've dealt with United States Veterans Initiative to help place two veterans in units in my complex. I won't say that the service was flawless, but there was never a doubt in my mind that the staff at USVI in PHX was dedicated to the achievement of securing housing for the vets. The two tenants I now have as a result have been models. They are honest, hard working, and respectful residents in our community
My name is Andrew, I am a Vietnam War veteran. I was homeless for three years due to a number of circumstances and bad choices. For many years I couldn’t find my footing in the world, dealing with PTSD and Combat Trauma I was self-medicating, using drugs and alcohol to cope with the madness in my head and ended up in prison. While in prison I heard about U.S.VETS – Inland Empire and made the decision that I was going to U.S. Vets. While in prison I wrote to Mr. Estrada to let him know I would like to enter U.S.VETS – Inland Empire and was greeted by him when I was dropped off at the March Air Force site in February 2015. Mr. Estrada spent the time to encourage me to follow through with the program and I did.
I entered U.S. Vets – Inland Empire in 2015 for their substance abuse treatment track and completed the program in 90 days. Subsequently I went through the Veterans in Progress program where I was able to increase my cash income. The VIP program assisted me in getting my service connection re-instated, keeping my substance abuse under control, and kept me on track and on time for all my VA appointments and court appearances. After a couple months in VIP I was approved and placed into the U.S. Vets C.H.A.M.P.S program for chronically homeless and disabled veterans. I now have my life together and things are going great.
Today I am living in a beautiful apartment and I have control over my destiny.
Review from Guidestar
U.S. Vets is an awesome organization. For 8 years we have had the honor and privilege to provide our heroes with nutritious meals. Let me tell you it has been such a joy. To see our veterans fall on hard times is one thing but to see them fall on a great organization like the U.S Vets is such an awesome feeling. Day after day we see a lot of our friends leave and become independent again. That is why we love this organization so much. The help they provide and more importantly the changes in our veterans faces when they can stand on their own again. We often forget about these peoples sacrifices they have made for us and it is such a relief and joy knowing that they too have heroes at u.s vets who genuinly care for them. To all my friends at u.s vets I want to say thank you! Hats off to you all for your service and help that you all provide. Remember that you all are heroes just like the people you folks help and protect. Mahalo and kamaaina catering will always hold the U.S Vets close and dear to our hearts. We love you all.
Review from Guidestar
US Vets Las Vegas is an amazing organization for which I am thrilled to be able to serve as the Co-Chair for the Advisory Council. I have been working with US Vets for over ten (10) years and am so proud to see the amazing accomplishments they have made in reducing veteran homelessness in the Las Vegas valley. Through their many programs, they have been able to bring renewed confidence to our veteran population. The men and women who have served our country deserve the world and the very least we can do is to ensure that they have a roof over their heads. They have given their lives to our country and we are so lucky to be able to serve them in return. I can't imagine Las Vegas without an organization like US Vets and feel fortunate every day to be able to help by serving as an Advisory Council member.
Review from Guidestar
As a long-time volunteer and donor at U.S.VETS – Pai’olu Kaiaulu at the Waianae Civic Center, I have first-hand knowledge of the tireless work that the staff members perform in service to the thousands of veteran and non-veteran individuals and families with children that they have served since March 2007. My main areas of volunteer service range from assisting with preparing and serving the annual Christmas brunch to helping staff at the annual Hana Like Kakou (Many Hands Working Together), benefit dinner.
I take great pride in assisting this very worthwhile cause, not only as a retired member of the U.S. Coast Guard, but because I can rest assured that the donations received are used as intended for the benefit of the individuals and families with children who call Pai’olu Kaiaulu home, and that the donations further U.S.VETS’ mission in service to others.
I have been a volunteer and monetary donor since 2007 and don’t plan to stop any time soon!
Review from Guidestar
As a professional consultant who has worked closely with Hawaii's homeless population as a member of Partners In Care, Hawaii’s Coalition of Homeless Providers, I have seen first hand the impact that U.S.VETS has made in the State of Hawaii. U.S.VETS is continually fulfilling their mission of serving veterans and non-veterans by providing housing, training, and a myriad of other services to thousands of individuals in Hawaii.
Because I believe in the mission, the reputation, and the service to others, I have personally donated to the U.S.VETS Waianae program through participation in their annual Bowl-a-Thon and annual fundraising dinner.
It has been easy to give to an organization knowing that each donation makes a difference in someone’s life.
Review from Guidestar
I am a U.S. Navy veteran who fought in Operation Desert Storm. I proudly served from 1980-1990.
What happened in my life that brought me to U.S.VETS – Long Beach was a 25 year battle with PTSD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, homelessness, unemployability, loneliness, and an otherwise empty and miserable life.
Today, as a direct result of U.S.VETS – Long Beach, I am sober, although for only a short time (31 days) but for me it is very significant. I have the essential necessities required to live such as food and shelter, and I also have some fundamental things that greatly affect quality of life such as companionship, support, respect, usefulness, hope, etc.
U.S.VETS – Long Beach helped by providing services such as case management, community service, transitional housing, financial support for vital documents, etc.
Since coming to U.S.VETS - Beach, I have changed in significant ways. My physical and mental health has markedly improved due to proper nutrition, medication compliance, and one-on-one therapy. I have a warm, comfortable bed to sleep in and a roof over my head that I will never take for granted. My outlook has been revitalized from hopelessness to optimism. My future has changed from dim to bright.
On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest rating, I would rate U.S.VETS as 5.
Review from Guidestar