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Veterans Bridge Home helping local veterans return to civilian life

VBH is seeking solutions to help veterans with job opportunities, keeping vets from homelessness, as well as mental health services.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Veterans Bridge Home or VBH is a one-stop shop, seeking solutions for veterans in the Carolinas.

Edriel Jeffrey, a 23-year retired Army veteran, moved to Charlotte in 2014.

"The whole experience here has been wonderful. I got involved with Veterans Bridge Home through the volunteer opportunities that they have," Jeffrey told WCNC Charlotte.

Blake Bourne – a veteran himself– is the executive director for VBH.

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"VBH’s mission is to connect veterans and military families to the communities where they live," Bourne said. "And we find the best companies to work for the best nonprofits, for services, and then we build connections in the community so that their purpose, their care, and their friends are all there for them when they need them."

Bourne went on to say, "We'll recruit companies that want to hire veterans understand where they're at, and then help make them better and ready. We'll find the best nonprofits and public, local, state and federal resources, and figure out which ones are best in class and make sure that veterans can navigate those." 

Jeffrey is one of those veterans that needed help navigating the next step. 

"I had lost the job. And I was out of work for a while. And veteran Bridge Home actually provided a space because they have office spaces where you can just go in and sit. They provided me a space, a safe space for me to do my job searching," Jeffrey said. "And believe it or not, my gap between my last job and my current job was very short. It was literally 30 days. So I wasn't out of work for long, thank God."

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VBH helps veterans with job opportunities, keeping vets from homelessness, as well as mental health services. But more than anything, it’s a community.

"We bring veterans together and build that social capital, right, knowing and learning and getting to know each other is what makes a difference for folks personally on a social level," Bourne said. "Then that becomes the glue between those services in those jobs."

Jeffrey added, "I know someone has my back and can help me out and especially here at Veterans Bridge Home."

The organization is serving those who put their lives on the line for us.

"It's very important because again, we have served our country, whether that's for years, 23 years, or 37 or 40 years, we have served our country," Jeffrey said. "And it's nice to know that when we come out here, there's organizations like this, that are serving us so that we're not lost."

To learn more about Veterans Bridge Home, click here

Subaru is also teaming up with VBH! For every Subaru sold at Subaru South Boulevard and Subaru Concord, a donation will be made to Veterans Bridge Home from Memorial Day through Veterans Day.

Contact Sarah French at Sarah@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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