Hello, my name is NyAsia Hightower and I am currently working as a VISTA for the Northern Arizona Veterans Administration (VA) as well as the United Way of Yavapai County. My focus is homeless veterans in the Prescott area. My official title is Community Collaborations Coordinator, which involves meeting with various groups within Yavapai County to try and better serve our veterans. The VA offers many different programs to help assist homeless vets such as the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program which gives them a housing stipend, as well as Veterans Courts which help to find alternate solutions to jail for veterans who are having trouble with the law. While the VA has all these great programs there are still gaps in care. These gaps come primarily from housing, employment, and transportation. To meet these needs we have different projects in the works. A partnership exists with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and Catholic Charities to let vets rent out rooms in a house that they purchased. Also, there are various transportation projects going on. The one that I have primarily been involved with is the Prescott Valley Initiative. The town has hired consultants in order to create a workable system to be implemented. This initiative will go up for a vote in March 2017.
At the United Way, we are currently finishing up the annual campaign which has consisted of lots of envelopes and adjustments to databases. An interesting thing that I got to do for them was attend a local company's (Fann Construction) holiday party in order to accept a check on behalf of the organization. It was a nice event and I got to not only represent the United Way but VISTA as well. The money raised during this month is crucial to many programs throughout the county including other VISTA projects like the Launch Pad Teen Center. While we focus on donations during this month we appreciate help throughout the year. You can donate, volunteer, or advocate. Visit our website for information on how you can help: http://www.uw-yc.org/ Just by mentioning United Way in casual conversation you are spreading our cause.