Homeless veterans in Colorado Springs who have mental health, substance abuse and medical problems can get off the streets and into a safe, structured environment at The Crawford House, but the numbers of veterans in need far exceeds the facility's capacity.

Crawford House, at 415 S. Weber St., provides temporary housing for homeless veterans so they can receive Veterans Affairs-managed mental health, substance abuse and medical treatment that they need. Some vets stay up to two years after they successfully complete their treatment program, renting modest rooms while they look for jobs and permanent housing.

The Crawford House was established and purchased in 2002 by the Colorado Veterans Resource Coalition (CVRC), a group of local veterans who, working with local VA clinic staff, saw that before homeless vets could receive needed treatment, they needed decent housing. Today Crawford House has a 25-bed capacity. Much more is sorely needed to accommodate the large local population of homeless veterans.

The CVRC has identified a local building that, if purchased and renovated, would not only provide temporary housing for homeless veterans but homeless veterans with families as well.

CVRC is entered in the Pepsi Refresh Project to compete for a $250,000 grant which would help to purchase this building. You can help CVRC to expand Crawford House facilities and opportunities by voting. You can vote multiple times each day. Go to, click on Food and Shelter, then click on $250,000. Under the Shuffled Ideas menu, click on Near You. The Crawford House grant is listed as "Purchase a larger facility to safely house homeless veteran families." click Vote, register, then click Vote again.

Voting for the current round of grants ends November 30, so please get on line and vote, vote, vote to help our local homeless veterans in transition. Please don't let them be the "forgotten veterans."

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