Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania, Inc. (VLP) is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency founded in 1982 by Vietnam Veterans.
In the past 30 years, VLP has grown to be one of the largest providers of subsidized housing for Veterans and their families in Western Pennsylvania and operates two of the nation’s most effective Veteran employment programs. Our team of experienced case managers including male and female Veterans, National Guard & Reserve members, family members of Veterans and civilians are committed to assisting ANY Veteran who walks through our door for help. Our programs can help Veterans, family members and service members living in the following counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Hungtindon, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland County.
The mission of Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania is to provide essential housing, employment, and vital supportive services to eligible local Veterans, service members, and their families with the goal of improving their self-sufficiency, sustainability, and quality of life.
The vision of Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania is to see a roof over every Veteran’s head, employment for all Veterans who are able to work, and for all Veterans to not only achieve and maintain self-sufficiency, but to thrive. Until that day, Veterans Leadership Program will be here, ready to serve those who have served our country.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Why are VLP’s services needed in the Pittsburgh region? Here are a few statistics that show why our services are critical for Veterans living in our neighborhoods.
How many Veterans are living in our region?
- Pennsylvania has the 4th largest population of Veterans in the United States and the 7th highest concentration of women Veterans in the nation.
- Allegheny County has the highest population of Veterans in all of Pennsylvania.
- According to a recent study published by the Center for a New American Security and reported by the Heinz Endowments, “the veteran population in the 10 western Pennsylvania counties is an estimated 235,000 men and women… about 50,000 of them are veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each year, 5,800 more leave military service and return to western Pennsylvania to face the challenging transition to life as a civilian.”
Why do veterans need assistance with housing?
- According to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Point-in-Time survey, nearly 50,000 Veterans were homeless on a single night in January 2014.
- While Veterans make up only ten percent of the population, they account for 16 percent of all homeless adults.
- Homeless Veterans tend to experience homelessness longer than their non-Veteran peers. Veterans spend an average of nearly six years homeless, compared to four years reported among non-Veterans.
Why do veterans need assistance with finding employment?
- In Pennsylvania, the unemployment rate for Veterans as a whole has stayed around four to six percent, which is lower than the national average.
- 53% of separating Post-9/11 Veterans will face a period of unemployment.
- Veterans face a variety of barriers to finding employment such as translating their military skills in terms that civilian recruiters understand. Other barriers include transportation, education, age, experience and disabilities.