Volunteers of America (VOA) is a faith-based nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those in need. The organization includes over 16,000 paid, professional employees and about 60,000 volunteers who dedicate time, money, and other resources to the cause. For more than 123 years, VOA has helped people of all beliefs and are dedicated to supporting America’s most vulnerable groups, including veterans, at-risk youth, homeless individuals and families, people with disabilities, men and women returning from prison, and those recovering from addiction. VOA is “dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential.”
Volunteers of America is also involved in several coalitions and works closely with many other nonprofits on their shared interests. They are able to advocate for others in need due in part to their collaboration with these programs, businesses, and state and government officials. One such initiative is the Senior Action Network which offers America’s seniors and their advocates a greater voice in public policy. The network recruits, educates and trains advocates to take leadership in the formation of public policy. They strive to mobilize the network of advocates for older adults and expand the presence on Capitol Hill. Currently, the Senior Action Network’s goals include removing barriers to Medicare/Medicaid, affordable senior housing, and quality senior living and care communities.
Over 1.5 million people in 46 different states are impacted by VOA’s human services program, which provides healthcare and housing. They are one of the largest nonprofit providers of affordable housing, skilled nursing care, and assisted living for seniors in the United States. VOA owns and operates 500 affordable housing properties and provides over 20,000 affordable units to people in need each year. Other services offered by VOA include:
● Assistance for People with Disabilities
● Assistance with Basic Needs
● Assisting Homeless People
● Behavioral and Mental Health Services
● Children, Youth and Families Programs
● Community Outreach and Investment Programs
● Correctional Re-Entry Services
● Family-Focused Treatment
● Moral Injury Support
● Substance Use Disorders
The population in Southwest Florida is rising, and rehabilitation centers are operating at full capacity, so hospitals are unable to transition people to the care they require. In 2015, the governor released a Certificate of Need for 75 skilled nursing rooms and Volunteers of America responded to the call in collaboration with Lee Health and Hope Healthcare and created The Preserve. VOA’s Gulf Coast Village, a retirement community in Cape Coral, has been very successful for over 30 years. They are also in the process of taking reservations for The Colonnade of Estero, the first continuing care retirement community in Estero. Once the Colonnade is finished, along with The Preserve and Gulf Coast Village, Volunteers of America will have 332 independent living apartments, 140 assisted living apartments, 90 assisted living memory support suites, and 244 skilled nursing rooms. They currently employ 480 people and will employ 900+ by 2022.
In addition to housing, Volunteers of America offers employment and resources to those in need through their many senior living communities like The Preserve. All residents in these communities will benefit from the high standards defined by VOA’s medical services, rehabilitative care, and social programs. They are a major provider of professional long-term nursing care for older adults and others coping with illness or injury. Their services often extend to those with disabilities as well. They provide older adults with choices about where and how they age and promote independence for the elderly. With transportation and homemaker services, the senior living communities sponsored by Volunteers of America encourage older adults to fully understand the options that are available to them as they grow older.