DENVER – On Thursday, Veterans Evaluations Services (VES), the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care Center, and Community Resource Referral Center (CRRC) held a mobile clinic to process claims for homeless veterans.
“We're having our "VA Stand Down." We haven't been able to have it in two years because of COVID. So we have kind of relaunched the Stand Down model really focused on bringing in our veterans who are experiencing homelessness here in metro Denver to provide services that really can change the trajectory of their homelessness,” said Missy Mish, Community Resource Referral Center program manager.
Mish said the clinic is part of a larger effort to connect more veterans with resources quicker.
“We have our partners with the Veterans Benefit Administration here taking claims for benefits of service-connected and non-service-connected claims. They actually brought their partners who are able to then also provide the exams, which is what usually takes so long when getting a claim done from start to finish," she said.
VES recently expanded its mobile clinic services and conducted medical disability examinations (MDEs) for the Department of Veterans Affairs on site. Mish said what can take weeks took a few hours and helped veterans file claims and secure housing, while also grabbing a meal and hair cut.
U.S. Army veteran David Bright attended the clinic. He moved to Colorado four weeks ago, and soon after, his housing plans fell through.
“I’ve been staying with, you know, friends and at hotels when I can,” Bright said.
To get back on his feet, Bright wants to use the benefits he earned while serving his country, but said the paperwork and various VA units can be hard to navigate.
“I'm a U.S. Army vet, served from 1984 to 1990. I was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and Korea,” Bright said. “You get through the intake, and then they say, "Okay, we gotta get back with you. Could be a week, could be two weeks."”
Bright said the mobile clinic was very helpful for him, and he hopes the VA hosts them more often.