Project Homeless Connect offers free services to veterans

Published: Jan. 23, 2019 at 8:12 PM AKST
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In the exhibit hall at Pioneer Park, booths filled the room offering services to those in need. Some of those booths were set up just for Veterans.

John Knotts is the Chapter commander for the Military order for the Purple Heart chapter 675. He says one of the biggest challenges they come across is getting older veterans up to date on current information of services.

"The military or the purple heart has an entity on Fort Wainwright that will sit down with a veteran that hasn't filed a VA claim yet. They don't necessarily work for VA but they are going to establish all the paperwork their first VA claim through medical records and get them into the system," said Knotts.

Knotts says the chapter works as a liaison between the VA and the veteran.

"We got to stick together you know, purple heart recipients." He said.

Jason Patzke is a case manager for the supportive services veteran's families program at the Fairbanks Rescue Mission.

"So the supportive services for veterans families is a housing first program, for low income or homeless veterans to get into stable housing," Patzke said.

The service for veterans families also works with those who may have addictions, extensive medical backgrounds and criminal records

"What we want to do is get you into a safe place to live," Patzke said.

Nathan Collin is the Northwest regional director for paws for purple hearts in Fairbanks.

"It's a really neat program because even if you don't want a dog and you just want to help a fellow veteran to train a dog everybody gets a little bit of therapy while they are working with the dog," said Collin.

From outreach to in home, these programs are continuing to work for veterans and service members in the community to build a stronger relationship in Fairbanks.