Warrior Foundation – Freedom Station was awarded $25,000 and the funds will be used in the building of Freedom Station II in San Diego, which will provide transitional housing to warriors who have sustained injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan, and are either active duty or recently medically retired military personnel.
Description of how the funds will be used:
Funds will be used in the building of Freedom Station II in San Diego, which will provide transitional housing to warriors who have sustained injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan, and are either active duty or recently medically retired military personnel.
Description of Project/Program, what makes it compelling, and the specific needs it will address:
Warrior Foundation already has Freedom Station I operational, and Freedom Station II will be patterned after this. It will provide housing to warriors who have bravely served and sacrificed for our country. Most of the residents are men, ages 18-35, who have undergone amputations in the line of duty. Most suffer from PTSD as well. Freedom Station provides transitional housing and support as they enter civilian life. The sense of community these residents feel, living together, is key to their ability to heal and move forward. Transport to medical care and therapies is provided, maximizing their rehabilitation. There is cooperation with the Department of Defense to maximize support and coordination.
Describe the Organization or Project as it pertains to the following Impact Giving Grant Standards-
High Impact & Life Transforming:
The apartments will house 9 residents at a time, and residents stay on average one year. The benefits provided by Warrior Foundation, and living in community, has enormous impact for these warriors as they move forward to civilian life.
During the time that warriors live at Freedom Station, there is extensive education regarding life with a disability, finances, pursuit of further education, navigating the work force. These would not otherwise be available to these warriors. There is also partnership with Ashford University in San Diego for military spouses. There are professionals and qualified volunteers who assist with educational and career guidance, and assistance in college tuition when the GI bill does not cover the entire bill.
The building of Freedom Station II will be completed by August, and will be used ongoing. It is rated as a four-star charity by Charity Navigator, the highest rating possible. Freedom Station I has been self-sustaining for the last seven years. Freedom Station II is patterned to do the same.
Living with comrades with similar challenges, there is strong community within Freedom Station. There are common goals, deep understanding of one another’s challenges, encouragement, and hope. There are common spaces, a gym, and a BBQ area to facilitate interaction.
Warrior Foundation believes in “a hand up, not a handout”. Many military facilities are free and do not provide preparation for real-world living. Freedom Station requires residents to pay a small amount for rent, and to actively pursue a new direction for their lives, under some realistic guidance and assistance.
Freedom Station II will measure success of the program by the residents’ ability to demonstrate a successful transition from military to civilian life by engaging in society as productive, self-sufficient, and contributing citizens. This can be measured by residents finding and sustaining employment, enrolling in college or vocational school, establishing and maintaining healthy relationships, and finding long-term independent housing after leaving Freedom Station.
Organization’s Mission Statement:
Warrior Foundation – Freedom Station aims to be the leading force in assisting, honoring, and supporting the military men and women who have so bravely served and sacrificed for our county. They are committed to supporting our warriors in a variety of ways, providing quality of life items, support services, and transitional housing designed to assist them and their families during transition and recovery.
Link to the website: http://www.warriorfoundation.org