Over the last year, Wounded Warriors of Collier County have made some amazing strides in bringing local Veterans support within the areas of housing, education and mental health. With the help of our community partners and supporters, such as the Community Foundation, the Richard M. Schulze Foundation, the Aron Foundation and many others. Wounded Warriors of Collier County (WWCC) has positively impacted the lives of local Veterans living in Collier County.
The Warrior Homes Initiative
In 2021, the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and increased activity in the real estate market has made affordable housing challenging for Veterans and their families, especially those living at or below the Individual Average Median Income (AMI). The Warrior Homes Initiative, in collaboration with the
David Lawrence Center, Veterans Treatment Court, the Hunger and Homeless Coalition of Collier County and Community Foundation of Collier County, has helped meet the demand for reducing local housing needs for Veterans. The initiative started back in January 2020 with the opening of the Alpha House, which has served as transitional living for 12 Veterans and was funded in part by the Richard M. Schulze Foundation, has an 80 percent success rate for Veterans transitioning back into community.
The initiative continued with the opening of the Bravo House in March 2021, which provides long-term supportive housing for local senior Veterans. With a major private donation from the
Community Foundation, the home was purchased by Wounded Warriors of Collier County in July 2021. The three bedroom home provides housing for three Veterans living on a fixed income.
Mental Health Initiatives & Accomplishments
The year 2021 also produced additional support for local Veterans in the critical area of mental health. The Veteran national suicide rate is 20 per day; a high percentage of Veterans returning
home suffer from mental health/substance abuse issues that result in difficulties adjusting back into civilian life. WWCC, with the support of the David Lawrence Center, has helped raise funding for mental health care for 29 Veterans without VA eligibility or health insurance. Additionally, a full-time dedicated Veteran Case Manager, in collaboration with David Lawrence Center, was funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County. Additionally, the Veteran Care Action Network (VCAN), a multiagency local team dedicated to providing emergency solutions for Veteran care on a case-by-case basis, was assembled in 2021 and now exists to handle emergency Veteran needs.
Education Initiatives & Accomplishments
Education is also a challenge for Veterans unprepared for transition to civilian life. On a local level, WWCC has raised funding for law school scholarships enabling more than 10 plus Veterans to attend the Ave Maria School of Law. WWCC has also continued community awareness efforts and collaboration with community agencies in providing educational opportunities for Veterans.
Financial Initiatives & Accomplishments
Given the predominantly volunteer structure of WWCC, the organization has been able to achieve results while spending approximately 10% on administrative and office expenses. Remaining funds are dedicated to Veteran support and organizational growth. Revenue from donations, grants and
fundraising events are approximately $1.1 million dollars in 2021, almost an 100% increase compared to 2020 total revenues. Our Annual Fundraiser Dinner took place on November 13, 2021, and funds raised has enabled us to provide 90 percent of its proceeds towards Veteran services and support.
Our Work Is Not Done
As we move into 2022, there is still much to be done to support our local Veterans. The Warrior Homes Initiative will continue working towards securing and opening the third long-term housing home, the Charlie House. Just recently, a generous donor has provided us with a three bedroom home that will be available for move in sometime in late January 2022, thus achieving our three year strategic mission of opening our third home in three years.
What’s next? On to Delta House! Our goal is to open a multiplex facility that will house more than ten plus Veterans. Stay tuned.
We are so grateful for the support of the community, as well as our collaboration partners, who have been instrumental in providing support and resources to WWCC programs and initiatives, and truly have helped the organization make a positive impact and difference in the lives of our local Veterans.
Happy New Year!
Dale A. Mullin
To help support the Warrior Homes Initiative and WWCC, visit