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Pete, a 36-year-old Army veteran, lost his job when his workplace closed. Then he lost his home. Pete stayed with some friends for a while, but it was a temporary situation, and soon he was living in an abandoned home with no water or utilities and was eventually charged with vagrancy.

Many men and women who fought for our country face another fight when they return home. Their battles can include finding and keeping a job and a home, relationship and mental health issues, or substance use—which can lead to minor law offenses.

Supported by United Way of Central Maryland, the Veterans Treatment Court provides area veterans the help they need to get back on their feet and become self- sufficient, rather than serve jail time and avoid a criminal record that could limit future housing and employment options.

The Veterans Treatment Court is a court- supervised, comprehensive, and voluntary treatment-based program for justice-involved veterans charged with misdemeanors in the District Court. Veterans charged with these offenses, whether eligible for VA benefits or not, can enter the program.

Participants work with mentors who are also veterans and who provide support and guidance for health, employment, legal, financial, counseling, and other services.

In recognition of the toll on veterans that accompanies military service, the Veterans Treatment Court serves the community and increases public safety through a coordinated treatment response with the goal of returning productive, law-abiding citizens to the community and thereby reducing recidivism and criminal justice costs.

When Pete entered the Veterans Treatment Court, he was partnered with a case manager who was also an Army veteran. Working with United Way community partners, his case manager was able to quickly get Pete into a new home—within two days. Pete also received food and household and personal care items, and the program covered the cost of a cell phone and provided him with a donated computer so that he could stay connected to his case manager and mental health professionals for support and to search for jobs.

“Having someone there to work through those obstacles with you and be supportive goes a long way with helping a person manage these difficulties and overcome the despair that comes with them,” said his case manager.

The Veterans Treatment Court operates through both the Glen Burnie and Eastside District Courthouses. To learn more about the Veterans TreatmentCourt or to donate, please contact Valeree Tolios at Valeree.

Tolios@uwcm.org (Anne Arundel County) or Jamie Meyers at Jamie.Meyers@uwcm.org (Baltimore).

The Veterans Treatment Court is a collaboration of Judge Halee Weinstein and Judge Thomas V. Miller III, and the District Court of Maryland, the Homeless Persons Representation Project, the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Public Defender, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, United Way of Central Maryland, and many other service providers. This project is supported by a grant from the Maryland Judiciary’s Office of Problem-Solving Courts.

ABOUT THE UNITED WAY OF CENTRAL MARYLAND

United Way of Central Maryland promotes equity, creates opportunity, and improves lives. Our nearly 100 years of service to the people of GreaterBaltimore have taught us what it takes to change our region for the better. We’re proud to be a source of support, compassion, and hope for people who work hard but still can’t afford life’s essentials.

We strengthen individuals, families, and neighborhoods by taking on systemic challenges and increasing access to basic needs: housing, health, education, employment, and more.

We connect donors with causes they care about. We bring together trustworthy organizations to collaborate in solving our toughest challenges. We amplify the power and impact of local leaders to solve the issues they face in their own lives and neighborhoods.

From individual donations from people who believe in the promise of their neighbors to fundraising drives in workplaces that inspire a greater sense of civic engagement, United Way helps people make a tangible difference for their fellow Marylanders. We track our efforts and continually adjust our strategies to better address the needs of our neighbors and the neighborhoods they call home. Thanks to our extensive network of service providers, other nonprofits, public partners, supporters, and volunteers, United Way is equipped like no other organization to translate donations and support into meaningful, lasting impact. We have deep ties to and a true understanding of our region. When we combine this local knowledge with the strength of a respected worldwide brand, there’s little we can’t accomplish.