Veterans' Welcome Home & Resource Center
Mission: We will tap into every resource available to help veterans transition back into civilian life. This includes helping with veteran benefits, job service, counseling, and any other assistance they may require.
We will raise public awareness to the unique problems of our veterans. We will also contact our state, local, and federal representatives in hopes of getting them to improve veteran's benefits at all levels.
Need: The center was established for the sole purpose of providing veterans with much needed assistance in learning about and applying for benefits due to each individual veteran.
Methods: This center is a non-profit organization, incorporated in South Carolina. The center is not affiliated with any government agency, including the Veterans Administration.
The center was founded by veterans and others who support veterans and their rights. The center staff is currently an all-volunteer group (no staff receive any money for any reason). A Board of Directors exists to oversee the operations of the center, as well as, the services that are provided.
The board and the staff invite all veterans and any other interested parties to stop by and visit the center. Staff will be available to provide information and answer questions regarding the center's work.
Results: They have served several thousand, over the years, have paid over $100,000 for rent, utilities, car payments or repairs and many other needs through our SURF (soldiers urgent relief fund). We have helped vets receive over 1 million in back pay for claims, many jobs and placed homeless veterans in housing.
The Center has been ranked among the top 100 sites for military and veterans’ assistance by Military Online Colleges.
In spite of threatening skies, a large, enthusiastic crowd assembled on Friday, April 17th for the dedication of the Dennis Hutton Reintegration. This residential facility, located at 421 Route 57S in Little River, SC, has been the dream of the Veterans’ Welcome Home and Resource Center since its inception in 2009. Speakers included Kris Tourtellotte, a Vietnam veteran and founding Director of the Center, and Barbara Hutton, widow of Dennis Hutton, a veteran, Board Member, and supporter of the Center. In addition to the speeches, the ceremony included the Presentation of Colors, Pledge of Allegiance, and a raffle of a handmade quilt. Refreshments, including a cake donated by ORCA, were served, and a bonfire took place later on.
As part of the event, tours of the comfortable house were given. Every bed was covered by a quilt, a wonderful welcome for each veteran and all handmade by Kris’ sister. The veterans can keep the quilts when they move on and more will be made as replacements.
The Reintegration House will offer a clean, safe place to live for up to 6 veterans at a time while they complete individually designed professional care and counseling programs in order to become productive members of society. Eligible veterans may be homeless, or have recently completed rehabilitation programs for drug or alcohol dependency. All must agree to share in the responsibilities of household tasks and maintenance, as well as to maintain a clean and sober lifestyle. This facility is the culmination of many years of vision, hard work, determination, and generosity. Members of the ORCA Board of Directors were present to celebrate the event.
Personal Story: The stories are numerous, but they had a Korean Vet living on a fixed income ask for assistance. He and his wife took a trip to Ohio to visit the grandchildren and while they were there their car was stolen and wrecked. They had to pay to get the car back and transportation for themselves. We paid to get their car out of the shop and some groceries.
We also had a vet who lost his wife to cancer and lost his job while caring for her. We got him a job, paid his car insurance, rent and utilities for 2 months until he got back on his feet.