SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Overton Brooks VA Medical Center celebrated its official opening as a community resource and referral center.

CRRCs support veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with access to “community-based, multiagency services to promote permanent housing, health and mental health care, career development and access to VA and non-VA benefits.”

“We have the staff here and the services to meet those needs. We’ve done a great job of helping my vets move from homelessness to housing to employment to stability to regaining relationships with family members, to developing their own families,” said Letetia Henderson, the CRRC coordinator of Overton Brooks VA Medical Center.

Henderson said she is proud of her team for receiving the honor because they have been doing the work. With the CRRC title, the center is now one of 33 in the nation.

At the center, there are 36 staff members who support Shreveport, Texarkana, Longview, and Monroe, with the help of community partners.

“The homeless program has licensed clinical social workers, peer-support, occupational therapists, psychiatry. We have a gamut of professions to make sure we meet the need of the veteran,” said Chocka Sullivan, the program manager for Overton Brooks VA Medical Center.

They have an engagement team that works to reach and connect with veterans, residential teams for transitional and long-term housing, primary care, and wrap around services for substance abuse and employment.

“They want to help veterans, empower them, to achieve their goals, to have housing, reconnect with family, get a job, sustain their permanent housing, address their issues whether it be mental health, or addiction, the team is here for them,” said Jodie Picciano-Swanson, the network homeless coordinator for Visn 16.

The center says the work is meaningful because they are able to give the voice back to veterans facing homelessness or at-risk due to personal or societal circumstance.

“This is a mission that’s easy to attach to. So if you have a heart for veterans especially for veterans that have been marginalized and have been impacted by you know the things of this world to become homeless, that’s something easy to get behind, said Sullivan.