The Philanthropy Collaborative

Regional Case Studies

St. Leo's Residence for Veterans

"We believe that those heroes who have given so much to our country deserve our support during their time of need." - Rev. Michael Boland

There are an estimated 18,000 homeless veterans in the Chicago metropolitan area. Traveling the streets in search of food and shelter, many of these individuals find shelter wherever they can find it - under a bridge, an overnight shelter, or even a quiet, protected area. Making matters worse, many of these individuals suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), substance abuse and oftentimes a variety of other health problems.

In response and with the assistance of the Catholic Charities Housing Development Corporations (CCHDC), St. Leo's Residence for Veterans was created. Consisting of 141 units designed specifically for homeless veterans, the facility also boasts a community-based outpatient clinic to serve the large population of homeless veterans who live on the South Side of Chicago.

While at the Residence, veterans receive access to a myriad of opportunities provided, not only at the residence and outpatient health facility, but also at the adjoining resource center and throughout the community. Sponsored by the Department of Veterans' Affairs, residents are encouraged to participate in adjacent outpatient medical and employment programs as well as receive group counseling sessions. All of these services help ensure that veterans are able to maintain their dignity while improving their well-being and quality of life.

As the Reverend Michael Boland says, "For the last 10 years, Catholic Charities in our city has seen a significant increase of vets who come to us for help. We believe that those heroes who have given so much to our country deserve our support during their time of need. St. Leo is the first program of its kind and is a part of the solution to homelessness and poverty among veterans."

The groundbreaking Residence is the first of five national projects designed to help keep our veterans safe, off the streets and with access to quality services.

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