PHOENIX - The Home Depot Foundation has made a big donation to help veterans in Arizona that are experiencing homelessness.
Homelessness rates among veterans increased in 2020 for the first time in years.
"There are so many reasons there are homeless veterans," said a spokesperson with the Home Depot Foundation. "We find that typically when a veteran leaves service, it takes up to three years for a veteran to become homeless. There are times when you have folks that are couch surfing, it could be many many different reasons - loss of jobs."
To combat this troubling trend, The Home Depot Foundation announced it has invested an additional $6.4 million this year to help veterans experiencing homelessness and at-risk veterans.
The money will help veterans in Maricopa County and the Navajo Nation.
"The pandemic really hit all the tribes extremely difficult," said the spokesperson. "The Navajo Nation being so expansive and crossing three states…[it] had real serious issues of access."
In the Navajo Nation, The Home Depot Foundation is partnering with CORE to turn COVID-19 shielding shelters into permanent housing for U.S. military veterans. The shelters will provide a sustainable housing solution for 25 veterans and will be renovated entirely by local community members employed by CORE.
In Maricopa County, there's a partnership with U.S.VETS, and that donated money will enable the nonprofit to renovate a former motel to become the area’s newest veteran housing facility.
To date, The Home Depot Foundation has reportedly invested more than $375 million in veteran causes, including making critical home repairs for combat-wounded veterans, providing financial assistance and helping senior veterans age independently in their own homes.
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