“We shall only pass through this life but once, we have honored ourselves andour families in defending our country and now we need to help
American service members face many challenges, both on active duty and after. Oneof those challenges may be physical disability of some type. And for service membersand veterans, in order to classify the disabled, the Armed Forces and VeteransAdministration assigns a specific percentage of disability. These disabilities ratingsplay a critical role in determining which benefits are available to the disabled person.John S. Lewandowski, the Disabled Veterans Committee on Housing (DVCH)Founder/Chairman of the Board is a 100% disabled veteran. His 100% rating is based onthe loss of use of his lower extremities due to a service connected injury. And likemany veterans confronted with injury, he didn’t know where to turn. It became almostimpossible for John to get around his home, so he had to turn to outside help. Littledid he know how expensive and time consuming it became, taking more than 2 ½years to secure a contractor, a contractor that would not take advantage of thespecial needs construction and accomplish the work at reasonable prices, so in June2008 he started the DVCH to assist and help our men and women in uniform.What he did discover is that the Department of Veterans Affairs has a special programfor veterans with specific categories of injuries due to service connected injury orillness. He found that if eligible by the VA’s Rating Board, he could have a home builtfor himself and his family.
To facilitate a comprehensive program that is aimed to be providing affordable and accessible housing choices for disabled veterans and the at-risk veteransand their families throughout Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic states. To serve the veterans who served our country with pride and honor, but returned home with a debilitating injury and/or are disabled. With the current economy, we use rapid rehousing program so their homes, utilities, any issues that theywill face not to be homeless. We are seeking to get all veterans and their families
The following special categories:• Debilitating injury such as loss of or loss of use of lower extremities• Loss of or loss of use of upper extremities (paraplegic and quadriplegic)• A need for braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair because of either: 1. SC loss, or loss of use, of one leg plus SC loss, or loss of use, of one upper limb, or 2. SC loss, loss of use, of one leg plus disabling symptoms of another SC physical disease or injury.• Severe burns over greater than 70% of their bodies• Blindness• TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)• ALS and others...
The State of Virginia presently has 822,300 veterans• Men – 730,000• Women – 92,000The Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Area:• Frederick County – 7,040• City of Winchester – 1,699• Clarke County – 1, 364• Page County – 2,267• Warren County – 3, 817• Shenandoah County – 4,361 TOTAL: 20, 548
The result is a group of homeless veterans where 70% have a history of combatexposure with its psychological effects, says Pete Dougherty, a senior policy adviseron homelessness at the VA.Among all homeless veterans, perhaps 20% to 33% were in combat, he says.Homeless vets: Number of U.S. veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan wars who arehomeless or in programs to prevent homelessness:2006: 1,2972007: 2,1672008: 3,4952009: 5,8812010: 9,7502011: 10,476 (through May)About 13% are womenSource: Department of Veterans Affairs
Veterans are defined as anyone who has served in the Armed Forces, whether wartimeor peacetime. Veterans commonly eligible for VA services include: • Older veterans • Combat veterans • Any veteran who became disabled in the service • Any female or male veteran with military sexual trauma • Younger indigent veterans with an honorable, general or medical discharge • Younger disabled veteransThe veterans are predominately African-American and male. Many are aging; however,younger male and female veterans are increasingly utilizing medical services here,especially since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. Many have multiple medicaland psychiatric problems. Some of our veterans have college or graduate degrees, butthe majority have a high school degree or less education. There are more femaleveterans here than at most VA’s. Many of our female veterans are single parents.Common psychological problems include combat trauma, sexual trauma, depression,personality disorders, a myriad of anxiety disorders, and psychosis. Many veteranshave addictions and may be dually diagnosed. Our veterans often display remarkableresilience and resourcefulness under very difficult circumstances. They are generallyopen about their problems and honest with themselves about their need for help.
Women who are wounded in action might suffer amputation, traumatic brain injury, or otherdebilitating conditions that need rehabilitation. Many more will likely have mental healthneeds. In 2006 and 2007, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression were amongthe three most diagnosed conditions for women veterans using Veterans Administration (VA)health care.Serving in a combat unit also is extremely stressful. For one, soldiers face the risk of death orlife-changing injury. Being shot at, seeing others get hurt or killed, and perhaps needing towound or kill others are sources of combat stress. Long-term separation from loved ones andfamily also can be a source of stress.Women soldiers also are at high risk of military sexual trauma (MST). MST is any sexualharassment or sexual assault that occurs in the military. In fact, 23 in 100 women using VAhealth care reported sexual assault in the military. And 55 in 100 women reported sexualharassment. MST can affect a womans mental and physical health, even many years later.Stress reactions that contribute to PTSD, depression, or other mental health issues can makeit very hard to return to "life as usual." The VA has many programs to help men and womenveterans recover from war-related injury and trauma, including PTSD and MST.In 2020, an estimated 1.9 million veterans will be women. Some of these women veterans willhave disabling conditions that result from their military service.
The service that DVCH provides does not cost veterans one penny. The service iscost-free to qualifying veterans. That service includes vetting organizations andcompanies to ensure they meet all the qualifications required for the type of workrequired.The vendors or organizations include:• Real Estate agents/certified home counselors and funding institutions• Financial institutions that handle all the matters of financing the project• Builder(s) approved by the Veterans Affair Special Adapted Housing Section.This is extremely important as they know the proper housing requirements.• Administrative staff to take care of all the paperwork that is involved witha service of this type• The local Department of Veterans Affair medical facility to schedule ahome visit to see what medical equipment they supply to the veteran, at no cost tothe veteran.DVCH can stage the services, contractors, and other players, so that when theveteran is ready to move forward in the process, then all they have to do is ask.Once ready, the DVCH staff will sit down with them and discuss the options thatavailable to and your family. Anyone ready this document might know of a disabledveteran that might benefit from our services…if so, pass this document on to them.Encourage them to call and connect with us. Then we can do the rest!
1. VSO (Veteran Service Organizations)such as DAV, American Legion, etc.2. Each VA Medical Center has a VA Regional Representative (Phillip Garvey is at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center)3. Veteran Service Centers, they are located in each area of the state where you live in.4. Nonprofit organizations that specialize in assistance to veterans.5. Check your Internet for organizations that can assist your search for assistance. (Always be careful on scam organizations)
Look around at the veterans you know. Are there any you think maybenefit from our program or will benefit due to homeless or potentiallybecoming homeless? It all begins with information.Pass this information on to them, or send us a note and we’ll follow up foryou. Giving back to our veterans is showing appreciation for their serviceto preserving and protecting our freedom.For more information on the Disabled Veterans Committee on Housing’scontact: Our website is at http://www.DVCHVets.orgIf you or anyone that you need assistance with an issue dealing with theDepartment of Veterans Affairs, especially the need for an accessible &affordable housing for you and your family. All veterans or servicemembers that are leaving the military with issues that now require a needto be able to get around in their present home or need to have one builtfor medically accessibility let us know so we can assist you in yourprocess, and always remember the DVCH does not charge one red cent forour services.
John S. Lewandowski, Founder/Chairman of the Board DVCH National Office Phone (540) 877-1252 Fax (877) 327-4541 Email DVCH123@gmail.comLinda A. Roseboro, DVCH’s Director, Marketing/Events DVCH’s National Office Phone: (540) 270-5897 Fax (877) 327-4541 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Duane (Skip) Rogers, Co-Director, Wounded Warrior’s Program DVCH’s National Office/Able Forces, Inc. Phone: (540) 631-9600 Fax (540) 635-2083 Email: Skip.Roger@ableforces.orgRonald (Ron) J. Hafey Sr., DVCH’s President, Board of Directors DVCH’s National Office/Vietnam Veterans of America Phone: (540) 877-1234 Fax: (877) 327-4541 Email: S_Guardian@hughes.net