Homeowners realize that as homes age housing repairs pose a considerable physical and financial burden. For veterans, this burden can pose additional challenges as many veterans, during and after service to country, experience psychological or physical trauma that makes it difficult to perform or pay for house repairs. Thankfully, people, groups, organizations, the military and local and national governments recognize and honor veterans by providing financial aid or volunteer assistance through housing and/or veteran's housing-focused programs.
Things You'll Need
- Income information
- Service or discharge information
- Beverages and/or food (optional)
Contact the National Department of Veterans Affairs, your local Veterans Administration office or the local chapter of your national veteran's association--for example, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs or the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). At the government level you may be able to obtain monies to help pay for house repair (making repairs essentially free) or referral program information. At the local level, the local chapter of your national veteran's association can provide information about individuals or programs in your area that offer free house repair services to veterans.
Check at the nearest base of military operations--especially if the base is for the branch of military in which the veteran served--as many active service members offer their time and skills whenever they can to help veterans in need.
Look into housing/housing repair programs supported by local officials or at the governmental level (for example, a county housing authority or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development "HUD" programs). Many county housing authorities offer income-based free weatherization, construction, repair or special needs (for example, wheelchair ramp or access) services.
Explore assistance offered by nonprofits like Rebuilding Together, Inc., House of Heroes and Operation Homefront (see Resources) that provide general or veterans-focused house repairs.
Request assistance through churches or religious organizations in your area as many manage/organize youth-based or other service-oriented programs within communities to help community members in times of need.
Visit your local hardware and D-I-Y stores or construction companies and independent professionals (carpentry, general contracting, plumbing, siding, electricians and others) and ask if any employees or owners volunteer their professional skills to help veterans.
Tips & Warnings
- If the veteran is elderly, speak with general elder care organizations like the AARP Foundation for assistance or referrals.
- Always prepare your income information prior to your search for free assistance as many programs have income limits. In addition, have a copy of your service or discharge information on-hand in case requested for confirmation of your status as a "veteran."
- Always offer not only your thanks verbally when you receive aid, but also a cold or warm beverage or food (if you're able) to show your thanks to volunteers and workers who assist with repairing you house for free.
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