Mission

Honoring Judge Sara J. Harper

Judge Sara J. Harper is a woman who exemplifies what it means to live a purposeful life, dedicated to making a difference in the world. At Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana, we believe this so much so that we named a housing community dedicated to serving women veterans after her. We’d like to share with you why she is so special. “People would tell me, ‘Oh you can’t do that.’ So, I did it anyway. Away from them.” The Honorable Judge Sara J. Harper Judge Sara J. Harper was born on August 10, 1926, and grew up in Cleveland…

Black History Month Reflection

Black History Month is a great time of acknowledgement, reflection, and celebration. Since 1926, when Carter G. Woodson, a Black Historian and Scholar encouraged a weeklong celebration, many in our nation and beyond have been highlighting the Black experience in these very ways. We take time to acknowledge the contributions of Black people. The true list of inventions would take much longer than 28 days to acknowledge. A few major ones that we utilize daily and have had worldwide impact include the modern toilet, the traffic lights, the home security system, automatic elevator doors, and the gas heating furnace. Even…

Honoring Our Veterans

Each year, we honor our nation’s veterans on November 11th, Veterans Day. It’s a time to take a step back and reflect on the sacrifices these men and women have made to keep us safe. It’s a time to honor them, celebrate them, and thank them. We can never be grateful enough for their service, but we can try! Make sure you take a moment this week to do something special for the veterans in your life. Whether it’s buying a cup of coffee, taking them to lunch, or a simple text message – your words will go a long…

Sharing All Stories – A Veterans Day Reflection by Chaze Patrick

Reflecting on my life, I ask myself: What will be your legacy? I think back to a brief part of my life, when I had the opportunity to serve my country with the United State Marine Corps. Stepping on the yellow footprints at the Marine Crops Recruit Depot (MCRD) in San Diego, CA, I had no idea on how making the transition from a civilian to Marine would be significant in continuing the legacy of military service within my family. My great-grandfather served in the World War II, my grandfather served in the Vietnam, my father did a short time…

Suicide Prevention Month

Each year, we recognize September as Suicide Prevention Month. It’s an opportunity to spread awareness for the staggering statistics around suicide and what can be done to help those who are struggling with their mental health. At Volunteers of America, we know our nation’s veterans often face many challenges when returning from service, including unemployment, poor mental health, physical injuries, and the need for safe, secure housing. If these difficulties go unaddressed, their mental health challenges can worsen. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report (2019), veterans account for 13.5% of all suicide deaths…

PTSD Support and Resources

At Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana, we believe in a world where all people live in safety, with social, emotional, and physical well-being, spiritual fulfillment, justice, and hope. When a person walks through the doors of VOA, they are greeted with respect and open arms to help them rebuild their lives. June is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Awareness Month. We sat down with one of our Clinical Supervisors, Vanessa Hogan, MS, LMHC, LCAC to learn more about PTSD and how friends and family members can best support their loved ones. In your role, how do you help people…

Sharing All Stories – A Reflection on DE&I by Valerie Hawes

It is very important for me to foster a culture of inclusion in the workplace to ensure that everyone feels safe, seen, valued, and heard. And while there have been strides to include MOST people, one group often remains omitted from the process. That group is Justice Involved Individuals. For several years, I have worked to bring attention to the initiatives that ensure equity in employment opportunities for this forgotten segment of society. It is my ultimate desire to encourage more employers to embrace the idea of extending second chances to qualified Justice Involved Individuals whenever possible. In 2020, I…

Sharing All Stories – A Reflection on DE&I by Cheri McDowell

I’m bi-racial. Born to a white mother and a Black father; something that initially rocked the white family that I grew up with. See, my father hasn’t been in the picture since I was around one year old, so my childhood wasn’t split between the two. I grew up entirely with my white family. In very white spaces. A black sheep, standing out from the flock. My childhood was great for the most part and I never recall yearning to know my father or meet my other family, but as I’ve gotten older, especially in the last few years I’ve…

Uplifting Hearts featuring Khamisi Jordan

The men, women, and families who walk through the doors of Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana for the first time seeking help often think there is no hope left for them.  The staff who welcome these men and women to VOA programs do so with arms wide open – ready to help carry their burdens, lighten their load, and remind them that there is always hope. They are people with a passion for uplifting others to help them rebuild their lives.  Khamisi Jordan is one of those passionate people.  Khamisi is a Community Case Manager at one of our VOA Veterans Resource Centers and if you know him personally,…

Sharing All Stories – A Reflection on DE&I by Robert Campbell

hen asked to participate in the DE&I effort here at Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana, I was honored, yet felt a significant responsibility to represent the Retail team. This committee is vitally important for our current and future team members, as well as our customers, in a very diverse and sometimes emotional dialogue around access, opportunity, and inclusion for all. We have an incredible opportunity to ensure our organization, our retail store team members, and leaders represent the communities in which we do business and extend our mission efforts. I want to be part of this DE&I team that…

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