Celebrating Veterans Day and the Homes for All Veterans Program at RMHS
Recognizing all people who have served loyally in our armed forces.
Every year, on November 11, we recognize all people who have served loyally in our armed forces. These brave individuals have demonstrated courage, integrity, and sacrifice for the common good, and Veterans Day is a time to appreciate and thank them for their service.
What is Veterans Day?
Veterans Day has not always been the holiday that it is today. The observance started in 1919 as Armistice Day, a celebration of the end of World War I. At that time, World War I was known as “the war to end all wars,” since it was the most destructive war the world had seen up to that point, and Armistice Day was intended to both honor the soldiers who had fought in the war and celebrate the peace that came with the ending of it. However, after World War II and the Korean War, the word “Armistice” was replaced with the word “Veterans” to modernize and broaden the meaning of the day to honor all veterans. This was the creation of the holiday as we now know it.
Today, many people celebrate Veterans Day by flying the flag, attending special services at places of worship, or participating in parades. Others take time out of their day or weekend to thank a local veteran, donate to an organization or effort supporting veterans in need, or even volunteer their time at these places. At RMHS, we take the time to highlight our Homes for All Veterans (HAV) Program and the veterans who do exceptional work as a part of the HAV team.
Homes for All Veterans Program at Rocky Mountain Human Services
Veterans Day is a time to think about the community of veterans as a whole, honoring their needs and experiences, as well as their accomplishments. At RMHS, the Homes for All Veterans program helps veterans across the state who are experiencing homelessness or who are in danger of becoming homeless through outreach, case management, and support accessing community resources.
As we celebrate Veterans Day, RMHS is pleased to introduce you to two of our organization’s dedicated HAV Veteran Support Specialists, whose experiences as veterans themselves inform and inspire their work every day.
For just over two years, Jose has been a Veteran Support Specialist at RMHS, which means that his day-to-day work consists mainly of communicating with veterans who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness and connecting them to the help they need.
“I call them up and ask them about their situation… ask them what their goals are,” Jose says. “We get them housed as soon as possible.”
Prior to his work at RMHS, Jose served as a Chemical Operations Specialist in the Army for four years, a portion of which was during the Gulf War. After leaving the Army, Jose found that his interest in social work aligned with a career path in helping other veterans. He can relate to the stories and struggle of many of the people he works with, not only as a veteran but as someone who has experienced homelessness himself.
“That’s how I can relate to a lot of the veterans… I was still going to school, but still working two jobs. I still couldn’t afford a place,” Jose says.
Today, Jose’s work on the HAV team serves as an opportunity to change those circumstances for other people. He values the feedback that he receives from the families he works with on a daily basis, knowing that he was able to change their lives for the better.
JT Teisher has been working at RMHS for just over ten years. He is also a Veteran Support Specialist.
“We’re trying to end veteran homelessness, in a nutshell,” he says.
Before joining RMHS, JT served as an infantryman in the Army from 1999 to 2006, and his time was spent in Fort Hood, Guantanamo Bay, and Iraq.
After the Army, JT used his degree in psychology to work with vulnerable populations, which eventually led him to RMHS.
“I’m just excited that I get to help out vets,” JT says. “To be able to come and help those guys get back on their feet just motivates me to come to work all the time. It’s a great opportunity I was given.”
His common experience with other veterans can be helpful in his work, allowing some of the people he works with to relate to him more.
When asked about the most fulfilling part of his work, JT says that it’s “getting someone off the streets, whether they were camping outside or at the shelter, and being able to help them get into their own apartment. It’s such a great thing to do for a fellow vet and for a fellow Colorado Springs resident.”
Thanks to the hard work of Jose, JT, and their coworkers, HAV can help veterans throughout the state get the support they need every day.
To learn more about the Homes for All Veterans program at RMHS, please visit RMHS | Denver | Rocky Mountain Human Services (rmhumanservices.org)
Resources for Veterans
HAV intake phone number across the state: 1-855-VETS-HAV
Crisis Line: 988 then press 1
Veterans Green Jobs: veteransgreenjobs.org
Bayaud Enterprises: bayaudenterprises.org
Veteran Aid: VeteranAid.org
Colorado Springs Vet Center: https://www.va.gov/colorado-springs-vet-center/
Denver Community Resource and Referral Center: 303-294-5600