Donate your car in Cleveland to help young homeless men

As winter loosens its grip on Cleveland and the weather gets warmer, it's easy to forget about the pervasive problem of homelessness, but it's a plight that requires year-round attention.

Believe it or not, your Cleveland car donation can help fight the problem of homelessness in your community. (And it is very much a problem.)

Cleveland and Cuyahoga County rank first in the state in homelessness, with more than 2,000 people in need of shelter. And while overall rates of homelessness fell 12 percent across the state, the numbers weren't so good in Cleveland. The area only saw a decrease of 2.8 percent.

While these numbers are troubling, there is a bright spot. Cleveland has the lowest rate of unsheltered homeless people in the entire country. And that's thanks to the work of facilities like our Walton Avenue Housing Program, which you can support with your Cleveland car donation.

How our Walton Avenue program helps the homeless of Cleveland

The Walton Avenue Housing Program helps young men between the ages 18 to 24 by providing 26 beds, but it's also so much more than that.

In addition to warm and safe shelter, Walton Avenue also provides much-needed resources for these homeless young men to get back on their feet and transition back to society. Supportive services offered include:

●Case management

●Employment counseling

●Life-skills training

●Referrals for substance-abuse treatment

●Mental-health counseling

The last item is particularly important, as mental-health issues are a common problem among the homeless population. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 20 to 25 percent of the homeless population in the U.S. suffers from some form of severe mental illness, compared to just 6 percent of the overall population.

One of the biggest problems for homeless adults is, in fact, mental illness. And when mental illness goes untreated, it can lead to crime victimization, criminal behavior, drug or alcohol abuse, and depression.

It's important to remember that anybody can become homeless. We never know what cards life will deal us.

A variety of factors can lead to a young man becoming homeless: Maybe his parents can't take care of him, where he lives is dangerous, or he simply cannot afford a home or apartment.

"No matter what happens to cause a person to be homeless or their background, we remember that it is important to treat all people the way you want to be treated," the Walton Avenue Housing Program director said. "And we do our best to help them find jobs, homes, healthcare, and get back on their right track."

How your Cleveland car donation can help

What can you do to impact the lives of young homeless men in Cleveland? One simple but powerful way is to donate your car in Cleveland to Volunteers of America.

If you have an unused or unwanted car, truck, motorcycle, RV or boat, your donation will directly fund programs like our Walton Avenue shelter. It doesn't even matter if the vehicle is no longer operable. We can arrange same-day towing, free of charge.

In addition to knowing you're helping make your city a better place, you could actually see more value in the tax deduction for your charitable contribution than you would if you sold the vehicle. And you don't have to bother with the inconvenience of trying to sell or trade your car.

Ready to donate your car in Cleveland?

To get started in the car donation process, just use this online form. If you happen to be coming to Columbus, you can also bring the clear title to 5640 W. Broad St., Columbus, Ohio 43228. Or call us at 800-862-6030 to donate your car in Ohio over the phone.

The homeless young men of Cleveland need your help today.