The 22 Club of Columbia is a group of citizenss who are dedicated to reducing homelessness, unemployment, and suicide rates among the veteran population. Only 1% of the US population enlist in the Armed Forces, of those enlisted 8% will be deployed into combat operations. Today, in Missouri veterans face some very troubling obstacles that have led to 552,830 veterans being homeless, 33% of which are veterans with children. There are 98,291 citizens unemployed in Missouri, with 3.5% being veterans. In 2017, there were 47,173 suicides reported in the US, 17% were veteran suicides. 22 Veterans and 1 Active Duty Soldier will commit suicide every single day, making it the highest demographic among Americans.
As veterans, these issues are deeply concerning to us and we are certain they are of concern to you, as well. In an effort, to reduce the issues facing our veterans, the 22 Club of Columbia has established four primary programs; E-Therapy, H2H, Therapy Expansion, and Buddy Pack.
E-Therapy: This program is an anonymous program we are extremely excited about as it is a process where those needing treatment for PTSD can obtain that treatment regardless of veteran status, anonymously. This program is quite extensive and the development has been extremely labor intensive. Mastercard and Visa have each committed to being a part of this program with the following terms, the first two digits of the 16-digit account number would be 22, the card can only be processed through approved vendors. This will ensure that only counselors who are qualified to treat PTSD are approved vendors. Since the cards are linked to 22 Club of Columbia and not to anyone’s name, there is no connection between person and service provider. Families can donate money to that card. Churches can buy cards to give out to those in need. Those concerned with job advancement or being placed upon a government watch list can receive the needed help without anyone aware of their actions.
Homeless 2 Homeowner “H2H”: This program is one of our crowning achievements. This program may actually reduce two obstacles facing veterans (homelessness and unemployment). This program pairs a homeless veteran with a contractor to build 1 or 2 bedroom bungalows, throughout Missouri. By building and contributing to the creation of these homes they are allowed to rent a home for $100.00 per month. After 1 year of renting a home and working to build other homes, they will automatically be qualified through this program to purchase their home. Additioinally, it is the desire of the 22 Club to have Veterans United as the guide and lender for our veterans. It is the goal fo the 22 Club to keep costs down by receiving material donations and land grants to build on.
Therapy Expansion: This program is seeking to making additional treatment methods should be readily available to those suffering from PTSD. With the passing of “Right to Try” Legislation, which permits gravely ill patients to by-pass FDA Approval Drugs to utilize experimental treatments. We are pushing legislation and the Veterans Administration to expand treatment for PTSD to include Eye MovementDesensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Equestrian Therapy, and usage of Medical Marijuana, without it ending up on a government watch list.
Buddy Pack: This program is operated through our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2639190029500243/. Here veterans can talk about anything on their mind free of judgment, so it is limited to veterans only with very few exceptions. Here veterans can advertise or request company for hiking, fishing, hunting, golfing, eating, anything really…just to keep our veterans from being isolated and alone.
We believe that these programs will reduce veteran homelessness, veteran unemployment, and veteran suicide. It is also our belief that these programs will not only benefit our veteran community but will improve our local communities as well.