CORD: Veterans’ Transitional Housing
CORD is a transitional housing program for homeless veterans. The program is a culmination of a cooperative effort between the Walla Walla Veterans Administration Medical Center, the Walla Walla Housing Authority and Valley Residential Services.
The Corps of Recovery Discovery (CORD) program began at VRS in 1996 with VA grant funding and the Housing Authority building duplexes in College Place. Over the next 14 years, additional grant funding allowed VRS and its partners to expand CORD’s housing options and we have served 1,600 veterans.
CORD is designed to break the cycle of homelessness through a seamless continuum of health care treatment services. This program provides veterans with an opportunity to change their homeless lifestyle through the development of skills, personal growth, recovery, self-reliance, productivity, residential stability, and community involvement. The program now serves up to 40 homeless veterans at a time; their duration in the program typically lasts 14 months, terminating at 24 months.
In addition to housing and case management, the program rents a community center for clients and alumni to do a variety of activities, including playing music, auto body and mechanics, wood- and metalworking, silk screening and jewelry-making. CORD clients are also involved with a variety of community, volunteer and recreational activities geared to helping them develop and maintain permanent housing and stability. Currently, three CORD staff members are also alums, and several other alums work for VRS.
CORD Program Services include:
- Employment help through the WWVAMC IT and CWT work programs as well as the local Job Source office
- On site staffing 10hrs per day, 5 days per week with 24hr emergency staff availability resident house manager
- Development of Person Centered Plan for each individual veteran to help them with the transition back into the community
- Availability of medical, drug & alcohol aftercare, and mental heath care through the Walla Walla Veterans Administration Medical Center
- Living Skills training including budgeting of income
- Community volunteer work
- An aggressive recreation program that includes team sports, camping, fishing, rafting, etc.
Many other groups and agencies have contributed to the program’s success over the years including the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, Blue Mountain Action Council, American Legion Auxiliary 12th District and local Alcoholics Anonymous / Narcotics Anonymous groups.
How to Receive Services (Referrals)
Individuals receiving CORD services from Valley Residential Services must receive a referral from:
Veterans needing transitional housing services can contact Chris Oliver at the VA at (509) 525-5200 extension 22690.