COV recognizes the value of Veterans assisting other Veterans and peer mentoring. Veterans can play an important role in a homeless Veteran’s life. The idea is that Veterans and specifically formerly homeless had to deal with similar problems and have successfully navigated the VA system, so they are good resources for new Veterans and are in a better position to make recommendations on behalf of other Veterans.
COV places a priority on hiring Veterans into positions providing assistance to Veterans and recruits volunteers who are also Veterans to assist in programs serving Veterans. This may include Veterans previously served by the program and Veterans who have been in the same or similar program for some time who have the ability to orient a Veteran new to the program. In this way, the program is in a better position to be sensitive to the needs of the Veterans assisted and increases the likelihood the Veteran will engage in services.
A daily meeting is held to encourage input by Veterans enrolled in the program. This meeting also serves as a venue to clarify activities and on-site services for that day, appointments, transportation arrangements, and plan new activities.
This meeting is facilitated by staff.
A suggestion box is accessible to Veterans in an effort to engage staff, volunteers, and clients to be committed to improving the environment in which they work and to improve the quality of services. The suggestions are compiled and aggregated into a report for the Program Director to review.
To further strengthen the input of Veterans in programs provided by Circle of Veterans, COV will form a Resident’s Council, which will be made up of Veterans enrolled in the program. It will serve as a communication link to advocate the issues and concerns of Veterans in the programs to management.