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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans

Mission: Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania provides essential housing, employment and other vital supportive services to eligible veterans, service members and their families to improve self-sufficiency, sustainability and quality of life. We work "in the trenches" with these homeless, poor, and middle class individuals who are doing the difficult work of rebuilding their lives after military service.

Results: Housing Programs Job Search Assistance Veterans Information Resource Case Management Services Referral Services

Target demographics: provide essential housing, employment, and vital support services to eligible local Veterans, service members, and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: Serve over 2,100 Veterans and service members, make 5,000 referrals for essential services, and operate one of the most effective homeless Veteran employment programs that place Veterans in meaningful jobs

Geographic areas served: 14 counties of Southwestern PA

Programs: essential housing, employment, and vital support services with the goal of improving their self-sufficiency, sustainability, and quality of life.

Community Stories

68 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough good things about this program. The staff I've encountered working with veterans are dedicated, knowledgeable and readily accessible. Their help in connecting veterans with affordable housing and employment programs are second to none. If you don't know where to turn this is a good place to start with supportive services provided that can help or connect you with someone that can. Many kudos to VLP for doing things right.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Had the opportunity and pleasure to participate in one of their events this summer, 335-Ride to Dc for veterans programs. The event is reflection of a well run team of people, one of best tour events we've seen all year long on Great Allegheny Passage. Their plans and turnout were exceptional. Professionally they worked in concert with locals all along the route. The event raised tens of thousands of dollars and me, like others are already committed to repeat and participate again in 2018. Great people doing fantastic things!

Josh L.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

This program has been instrumental in assisting our veterans in finding appropriate housing options and employment. Their assistance in helping veterans maintain their housing and employment post discharge has been invaluable

Donor

Rating: 5

Some of the greatest men I have ever met. The VLP is blazing the trail with how they support our greatest heroes.
I am proud to know them.
Please contact Staff Sargent Daniel Blevins and lend a hand.
They are patriots and heroes.

Client Served

Rating: 5

VLP has helped me in ways no other organization has. The staff are respectful and eager to help when your down. Thanks again VLP.

Client Served

Rating: 5

VLP is an amazing organization that helps out many Veterans. Thank you to all the Johnstown Staff for all that you do. I wouldnt be in the place I am today without the help of all of you.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great organization that supports veterans in need.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Amazing Organization that truly is set out to help our Brothers and Sisters.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been apart of many organizations that help Veterans. VETERANS Leadership Program is by far the best local organizations that helps my fellow Veterans. VLP took the time to help my wife and gave her the support she needed to help me. If your a Veteran that needs help find away to get hold of VLP. If your a doner or volunteer your generosity will definitely be used wisely here at VLP.

I'm a Veteran I give VLP 10 stars. Thank you to all the members at VLP. John Conway

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Veterans Leadership Program (VLP) almost since its inception in 1982. I served on the board for 22 years and was board chair five of those years. Over this time I have witnessed how the staff has helped literally thousands of veterans and their families in so many ways from finding employment, obtaining necessary medical treatment, finding housing and offering support in big and small ways. The testimonials we have on record speak volumes to this organization's work. It is so easy to write about VLP as I have witnessed their great work over these many years. I am currently serving as the Veteran Mentor Program Coordinator where we are seeking Veteran Mentors who can work with Veteran Court Participants. Mentors are trained volunteers who have served in the US Military and who work with a specific Veteran as he or she progresses through their involvement with the court. Mentors serve as liaison, an advocate and guide to fellow veterans as they work to address issues related to their criminal case. I mention this program as it is one example of how VLP is helping Veterans. I truly feel that the Veterans Leadership Program should be selected as a Great Nonprofit.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a navy veteran. I recently lost my job with alcoa. One benefit was to further my education. I chose cdl school. I graduated and recieved my cdl. Ive submitted alot of resumes to no avail. I need to stay local at this time. I had no where to turn to. My rent wss due. The veterans leadership program stepped up to help me. Helped me rent and redid my resume. Now i have some offers . i would of been another homeless vet if it wasnt for the vlp program. Thank you staff. Particuliarly. Ken, Katie, n Dan. Truly u r special people. To do what you do. I salute you.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The VLP program is great. It was a major help and blessing to me. I don't know what I would have done without it. I recommend this program to any veteran who needs help. The program has many ways to help veterans, including: rent, moving expenses, furniture, jobs, vision, eye glasses, health, and much more.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Amazing organization that assists local Veterans, Service Members, and their families with essential housing, employment, and other supportive services.

3

Client Served

Rating: 2

I filled out a TON of paperwork, and was told by one employee there that I'd receive help within the next week in paying my past due rent so I didn't get evicted. So I relayed that to my landlord. A week later, another employee called me, and said she's be handling my case. She told me I wouldn't be receiving any help. She told me to go apply for Section 8. So I looked like a liar to my landlord and applying for Section 8 wasn't going to stop me from getting evicted. I don't know if they just don't have the resources to help people or they got new staff or what. When I lost my job many people recommended I go to VLP for help. I'm a female vet with kids and this was the first time I'd ever needed help for anything. I have a bachelors degree and have no alcohol or drug history. I've always held a job and had never been in trouble. I was just in a temporary rough patch. I finally had worked up the courage to go ask for help because I didn't have any other options and they weren't very nice. The lady said if they helped me "I'd just end up in the same situation again." Thankfully, I'm now back on my feet and employed at a Fortune 500 company, no thanks to them.

2

Client Served

Rating: 1

They do not really help. I've had to fend for myself. One of the employment specialists decided a pizza delivery driver was the best job for a disabled veteran that suffers ptsd and uses assistive devices to walk. Never mind that it was her fathers pizza shop. When looking for accessible housing, no one helped me. I was left to search on my own, never finding a place or being told no for places I was interested in. Right now, I'm in a Project Journey apartment that I'm being kicked out of. I was just told I have to be out next week, via text message. Here comes one more homeless vet, illegally evicted. Also, they feel free to walk in whenever they want and won't even tell you they were there, but get upset when you tell them you noticed someone was in the apartment. All of my calls go unreturned when I try to talk to someone there. I've left tons of voicemails. This same person is very condescending and negative. She lies about things and always brushes me off. I can't take it anymore. Things start to go good then she always knows how to ruin my day.
When I did complain before, they called me in and chewed me out.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The words Thank you hardly seem enough. But they are coming from my heart. A heart uplifted by your kindness. With all our love and thanks, Especially to Ken Haynes and Will Steele.
Thank you so much,
James and Patricia

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is H.A . I am grateful and appreciative of the VLP. This program has given me hope for myself and survival from Mar 2013- present. Last year I lived in an abandoned house. After the lady I stayed with put me out because general assistance welfare checks were no longer issued. No adults could receive the 200$ a month, so with me having no income I was put out. I had no place to go because I am originally from North Carolina. I survived the wind and cold in the holy father and holy sons name I slowly fell into a deep depression. In March 2013 someone told me about VLP. I called and spoke to your diligent worker Dan. Dan told me to stay strong and get into the office ASAP. I never knew I could feel so cared about. He set me up with resolved for my mental health problems. Dan introduced me to Karen that day. She surely did have a caring attitude. The way she treated me was outstanding. I met Serena in May 2013 and she has upheld the great standards of excellence. Serena has kept me on track. This is why I am grateful to you, the program and your staff. I am glad I served 7 ½ years in the Army Reserves. And one year of being in my apartment, I would like to thank Dan, Karen and Serena.

Thanks so much VLP!!
H.A

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ms Holt.
As a Veteran sometimes its really hard to ask for assistance. You have shown me that you generally care for us Veterans and make it easier to ask. My water was threaten to be shut off and because of you and you advocating on my behalf, I was able to continue to have water. You have always taken care of me for the holidays with food and items. Without you, I don’t know where it would be.

Thank you,
Niles

Client Served

Rating: 5

To Ken and the VLP Staff,
Thank you so much for the help and support. It was a lifesaver. I would otherwise be homeless. It sincerely was amazing to not feel alone and the VLP staff really came through for me.

Sincerely
Augelo M.
USMC / OIF Combat Veteran.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dear VLP,

I am Alan Smith, one of the many veterans who participate in your program and am under the guidance of Jack Kudrav.
I would very much like to take a moment and thank each-and-every one of you for the time that you spend with us to get our lives restarted and/or restructured. For me, it is extremely valuable to share and learn about the many different yet similar experiences that my fellow veterans live with on a daily basis during our meetings.
When I first started with your program, it appeared as if things in my life were getting more into focus and things that were out of reach were getting closer to grasp. That was until recently when a situation occurred that looked like a derailment could be occurring. Words of wisdom are all it takes to put things back into perspective. That is what the VLP does for their clients on a daily occurrence.
I would also like to take a moment to extend my gratitude and make note that you have an exceptional member on your staff. His name is Jack Kudrav. Jack is a kind, caring, and sympathetic individual who always has a story of enlightenment when it is need the most. He will help you to be able to stand alone on your own two feet and cheer you on as you walk away gracefully.
So again, I extend my appreciation to the VLP and its staff. “Job Well Done,” “Keep Doing What You’re Doing”
Sincerely,

Alan Smith