Shot in the arm: Annual golf outing gives boost to Vets Returning Home facility

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Among those who volunteered their time and talents for the September 11 golf outing were (l-r) Dave Harrell, Mike Schloff, Elias Escobedo, Carrie Heichel and Sandy Bower of Vets Returning Home, Tess Sullivan, and John Prew.

Photo by John Slevin

By Tom Kirvan
Legal News

On a solemn day in American history, the 8th Annual OCBA Veterans Committee Golf Outing took place September 11 at the Links of Crystal Lake in Pontiac, fittingly drawing scores of golfers to the fund-raiser for the Vets Returning Home facility on East 11 Mile Road in Roseville.

The event raised more than $25,000 for Vets Returning Home (VRH), a “nonprofit and non-government funded organization dedicated to help our veterans transition into stable lives,” according to program founder Sandy Bower.

Bower, who lived a homeless life as a teen mother before starting a successful credit card processing company, was on the verge of retirement in 2013 when she founded VRH, cashing in her retirement savings to purchase an 11,000-square-foot facility formerly operated by the American Red Cross that now houses more than 40 male and female veterans in need.

“The goal of Vets Returning Home is simple: to end chronic homelessness among veterans in our communities,” said Bower. “Our mission is complex, requiring more than putting a roof over their heads. It requires an approach that addresses the ‘total veteran’ and his/her needs and making sure they succeed after they are transitioned.

“We provide a stable and sober living environment to veterans in crisis,” Bower added. “Onsite services include employment readiness training, aid with job placement, disability benefit connection, legal support, and life skills training.
Community support – both physical and financial – has been vital to our ability to continue our mission. We have successfully transitioned on average 250 veterans a year back into society as a fully functioning community member.”

Attorney Mike Schloff, a past president of the Oakland County Bar Association, helps spearhead the golf event each year, devoting countless hours to drumming up financial support for the VRH program, which also includes a thrift store at 29523 Gratiot in Roseville.

“Sandy has put her heart and soul into Vets Returning Home, and we all owe her an enormous debt of gratitude for the work that she has done and continues to do on a daily basis,” said Schloff, who served with distinction as an officer in the U.S. Marines during the Vietnam War. “She is an inspiration to me and all of those involved in supporting the Vets Returning Home program.”

For those interested in lending a hand to the program, send an e-mail to info@vetsreturninghome.org or call (586) 285-5606.

 

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