Veterans are distinguished people who fought for our freedom and risked their lives whether or not we realized or appreciated it. Present-day reality shows that many veterans struggle to adapt to regular life or become homeless once they get back from their service.

But like a port in the storm, the Veterans Transition House in New Bedford assists those veterans by offering a roof, food, supervision, support and more.

"I'm grateful to report, we've opened up an additional 30 units of permanent supportive housing for our veterans," stated Jim Reid, Executive Director of the Veterans Transition House.

The VTH has been helping veterans for 26 years now and depends on fundraising to help do so.

"We look for a veteran in the community who has made contributions to fellow vets and veterans issues," Reid said. But because of COVID-19, the VTH was forced to downscale its annual Veteran of the Year event and chop out the annual awards luncheon at Rachel's Lakesider.

"This year, we hope to start up the full program again on or around Veteran's Day, November 11, providing that COVID doesn't surge," Reid said.

He also noted that the VTH has been able to show the public its new upgraded location.

"Because of the pandemic, we haven't yet been able to invite the general public, our donors, volunteers and friends to come by and look at the progress we've made," Reid said. "In July, we moved to the new transitional house at 1060 Pleasant and the new Veterans Outreach Center, where we're conducting classes, at 1297 Purchase Street, just across the street."

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"We also provide case managers, and we hold recovery meetings, financial literacy classes, and transport the vets to their medical appointments," stated Reid, who also called attention to veterans' suicide risk and dealing with the realities of trauma. "Bottom line, if you are struggling as a veteran, there is hope."

The Board of Directors once again is soliciting nominations for Veteran of the Year Award. The last day to submit your nomination has been extended to September 25. Justin Latini, United States Navy, was last year's honoree. Can you think of a veteran candidate you'd like to nominate? Further information can be found at the Veterans Transition House website.

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