Archive for June 1st, 2015

by William Skink

There’s a curious piece from NBC Montana about a new shelter for Veterans opening near Whitefish (h/t @Lgpguin). Maybe @Lgpguin will get some clarification on what is intended by the use of the word “shelter” since she asked for a definition. Here’s the opening details:

This summer, a shelter for homeless veterans is opening up near Whitefish.

Glacier Hope Homes will house 35 veterans.

The site currently operates as a resort on Hodgson Road. The new shelter will take over in the same location on August 4.

The property features 17.5 acres of land and 12,000 square feet of indoor space.

Officials are paying for the project via private investors, a federal grant and funds from Medicaid, Medicare and Veterans Administration benefits.

Glacier Hope Homes will cost residents $1,500 per month.

Um, ok. Kind of expensive for homeless Veterans to afford, but saying you’re helping Veterans does seem to create a warm glow that resists skepticism.

It would be great if the reporter (who looks like she just graduated J-School) employed some skepticism, though. Who are these officials? Who are the private investors? What’s the name of the federal grant? Will there be medical staff? If not, how does this “shelter” plan on billing Medicaid and Medicare?

There are no answers to any of these questions. Instead there’s this:

“We are going to take care of veterans, senior veterans and homeless veterans and encompassed in that is more than room and board,” said Glacier Hope Homes Executive Director Jason Stevens. “We are going to provide educational opportunities. We’re going to provide job opportunities. We have a lot of amenities.”

Stevens says the facility plans to launch a kind of buddy system, where veterans of different generations can pair off and get to know each other.

Maybe it’s just the short format of NBC Montana reporting, but to me Glacier Hope Homes sounds like a scam. I hope Glacier Hope Homes gets a little more scrutiny before they start serving homeless Veterans. Veterans have complicated issues that often require clinically trained professionals to address, especially if those issues have resulted in episodes of homelessness. Launching a buddy system just won’t cut it.

If this new shelter hasn’t done it’s due diligence, politicians will hear about it quickly. For all the criticism I’ve heaped on Jon Tester, his office has been very responsive to Veteran issues.

Thank you @Lgpguin for catching this one!

UPDATE

NBC Montana changed the article to better clarify who will cover the 1,500 dollar cost per resident. The first stab at this story clearly stated that Glacier Hope Homes, and I quote, “will cost residents 1,500 per month.” That apparently wasn’t accurate, so the article now reads:

Officials are paying for the project via private investors, a federal grant and funds from Medicaid, Medicare and Veterans Administration benefits to cover the $1,500 monthly cost of operation per resident.




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