Deborah Snyder, president and CEO of Operation Renewed Hope Foundation, and a veteran.
Once proud of her country for 22 years as a military pilot Lt.-Colonel (B. d.) Deborah Snyder continued her service as a citizen by the creation of an organization to help homelessness among veterans and their families.
Deborah started Operation Renewed Hope Foundation (ORHF) in December 2011 after seeing the homeless veteran population explode — by that point had reached an estimated 68,000.
Deborah said that the call to help, was something that came naturally to her after two decades of flying Huey and Black Hawk helicopters.
Lt.-Colonel (B. d.) Deborah Snyder.
“If you’re in the Military, you’re used to taking care of the soldiers, and this is just an extension of that,” she said.
Deborah has helped veterans as young as 21 and as old as 92, but they say that the average veteran she assists is between 53 and 57.
Since 2011, ORHF has helped more than 700 veterans and their families in the DC metro area.
A family-ORHF recently helped during a move.
(Operation Renewed Hope Foundation)
Deborah says that what her foundation apart from the hundreds of others working to the same purpose is that ORHF provides veterans with more than just a house.
Case managers visit veterans who contact Deborah. “We try to be efficient as possible,” she said. “Our case managers go to the veterans. … We think that us going to them makes it easier and more efficient.”
ORHF looks for the housing of the first, and then looks to the vets for long-term success. It offers a security deposit and rent assistance for people in need.
Other support services include resume building, link to veterans advantage medical services and better employment.
Deborah Snyder wants to end homelessness among her fellow vets.
ORHF has a 90 percent success rate — the measure of veterans who remained housed a year later — and, on average, the majority of veterans are housed within the 45 days.
Deborah said that, on average, five out of six veterans who reach out to her teetering on the edge of homelessness. She said that some of them work two or three jobs, and that all it takes is an unexpected setback for them on the streets.
Snyder says ending veteran homelessness is good to do.
In 2014, Deborah was named a L’oréal Paris Women of worth Honoree for her work for veterans.
ORHF the biggest support comes from special grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Deborah says that it was through the work of groups like the hare, and the support of the VA, the homeless population in the U.S. has fallen to 40,000.
But that is still not good enough, ” she said.
Deborah says that it is close to zero is a “doable goal,” and they think that something is being done to combat homelessness among veterans is something that can be replicated for the homeless problem nationwide.
In 2014, Deborah was named a L’oréal Paris Women of worth Honoree for her work and was awarded $10,000 to continue its commitment in the direction of ending homelessness among veterans.
Deborah said that ORHF hopes to soon receive at home, or on the basis of donations and is working on a $6 million- $ 10 million project to acquire a home for veterans.
“In five years I would like to see the 40,000 cut in half, and that is me being realistic,” she said.
Paulina Dedaj is a writer/ reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @PaulinaDedaj.