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San Jose nonprofit looks to expand homeless veteran outreach

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — This Veterans Day, San Jose-based nonprofit “Open Doors to Future Possibilities” is hosting a fundraiser to expand its services to help homeless veterans.

Nationally, 37,572 veterans experienced homeless in 2020 and in Santa Clara County — a significant amount of homeless individuals are veterans.

“To become a member of a branch of service in the U.S. Military, the recruits participate in 6 to 13 weeks of extremely intense military training, known as Military Boot Camp,” said Dr. Simone Lundquist, founder of Open Doors to Future Possibilities.

“However, when they separate from their military life and come back home, there is no training to prepare them to re-enter civilian life.”

Lundquist, who has worked in community mental health services for nearly 20 years, launched the nonprofit in 2019 after working with countless veterans desperately in need of mental health services.

The nonprofits Veterans Program offer a range of services, including: counseling, roundtables, and tutoring,

In addition, connecting Veterans and their families to benefits and resources such as medical/dental services, educational/employment opportunities and transitional housing.

This Veterans Day, the nonprofit is raising money to continue to offer their services to veterans free of charge — they money raised will be used to hire more staff and move to a bigger space to offer more therapy rooms.

The nonprofit will be collecting donations at the Bass Pro Shop in San Jose on Thursday, starting at 2 p.m.

“Here, my team and I offer Veterans an alternative that has not existed before; a safe place where they can feel heard and understood, respected and responded to without being labeled, diagnosed or prescribed medication with the understanding that there’s no switch to flip to instantly turn them into highly-functioning civilians,” said Lundquist.

“Our hope is that the services we provide make it possible for the Veterans to dare to dream again, set goals for their future and reconnect to their determination so they can achieve those goals creating the life they envision for themselves and their families.”

The nonprofit also helps Veterans and their families get on their feet with transitional housing by providing groceries, clothing, and other neccesary supplies.

Since launching the Veterans Program nearly two years ago, the nonprofit has served more than 1,500 veterans and their families in transitional housing, distributed more than 6,000 food boxes, given a 1,000 pairs of shoes and socks, and countless other essential supplies.

Lundquist tells KRON4 News more than 40 Veterans have been able to go through a smooth transition into civilian life after utilizing the nonprofits counseling services.

To learn more about Open Doors to Future Possibilities, click here.

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