Project Sanctuary helps military families heal


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Project Sanctuary hosts Veteran and active duty families through six-day therapeutic retreats at locations across the United States. While at retreats, families participate in sessions directed at improving relationships, financial literacy and mental health.

Recreational activities are strategically designed to improve family cohesiveness by providing opportunities that create bonding, improved communication and trust. The key elements of these retreats allow for connections between Veterans and other Veterans, families with other families, and Project Sanctuary staff and volunteers with participants. Most importantly, retreats bring a renewed sense of closeness and connection within the family unit.

“As a single mother/veteran, this program provided continued support in a time when a female vet may feel alone. Thanks to the retreat we attended, my children and I spent more time talking and communicating about topics we never otherwise talk about and opened the door to two-way communication moving forward” – Brenda, 2020 Retreat Participant

Family support

Comprehensive family support services and case management are immediately available to families who apply for programming and support. In addition, if a family attends a retreat, Project Sanctuary dedicates at least two years of follow-up services post retreat which includes direct services and referrals to appropriate resources.

“We were struggling with the effects of PTSD, but we were merely surviving, not managing. We’ve improved with other programs but we specifically chose Project Sanctuary because they were the only program that could help us with communicating with our children. There are a lot of programs that help veterans but Project Sanctuary is the only one we have found that allowed us to include the children in the experience and help them also understand what is going on”.  Veteran Family, September 2020 Retreat

Destination resource weekends

Destination Resource Weekends are offered three to four times a year at strategic locations across the country. These one-of-a-kind resource weekends are not your typical “fair” but instead focus on each couple’s unique and personalized needs for active duty and Veteran singles or couples to build their network of support. Life goal-setting exercises kick off the weekend to help identify what each participant needs to move forward in life and thrive. Families then connect with resource partners in the areas of financial planning, psychological well-being, employment, recreation and more to set a path for success.

Volunteers/ambassadors

Project Sanctuary “Caring in Action” Volunteers and Ambassadors are also a key part of the organization giving back to Veterans and their families with the gift of time. More than 10,000 hours were contributed just last year.

Learn more

To find out more about Project Sanctuary, apply for a Therapeutic Retreat, Family Support, Destination Resource Weekend or Volunteer, visit https://projectsanctuary.us or email Info@projectsanctuary.us

Project Sanctuary is a 501 c(3) national nonprofit headquartered in Granby, Colorado, believing that when one person serves, the whole family serves. Founded in 2007 by Heather Ehle, RN, Project Sanctuary is based on the principle that when one person serves, the whole family serves, and understanding the best way to “support the troops” was to create an organization supporting the entire family.

Currently serving, Veteran families, single parents, caregivers, couples and all families are welcome to apply.


The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on part of VA.

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Catherine Thomas    

    I’m not sure if anyone will be able to help but you never know. My husband and I have dreamed of opening up a retreat sort of place for veterans here in Montana so they have a safe place to unwind with no loud noise (Firework season is brutal for my disabled vet) I have no idea we’re to begin or if there are any grants/programs that might help me set something up. Any advice would truly be appreciated
    TIA – Cat

  2. Frances Oles    

    Thanks so much for doing this wonderful thing! I am a Gulf War Vet with severe PTSD, anxiety, and depression and it seems my family just doesn’t understand, and doesn’t really try to. This would be perfect for us, even if not my kids, it is critical to save my marriage!!!!!!

    I could even see myself volunteering in the future as I have gone through Peer Support training. ♥

  3. Tommy R. Welch    

    Hello,
    My name is Tommy Welch I am 100% disabled veteran. I served 10 years and now I have had a 5 way bypass, my colon ruptured and I have Parkinsons due to the military. If possible I would love to go on one of your retreats. If possible, if not I understand there are veterans who may need it more than me.

    Thank you for your time,

    Tommy Welch

    1. Heather Ehle    

      Hi Tommy!!! We would be honored to have you at one of our therapeutic retreats!!
      Any military family or veteran that would benefit from a therapeutic retreat is welcome! Fill out our registration here: https://projectsanctuary.us/forms/
      and about ~2 hours an application will be sent!

  4. rudy daniel serna    

    find out about retreat dates and services

  5. Chelsey    

    Frustration. This only helps a 20% margin. What about the 80% out there? There are other programs and retreats out there
    who help the rest of the veterans. Just wish there was a database they were all collected to. And the VA would support them.

    1. Heather Ehle    

      I am sorry you are frustrated, but I have NO clue why? We are open to all.
      Any military family or veteran that would benefit from a therapeutic retreat is welcome! Fill out our registration here: https://projectsanctuary.us/forms/
      and about ~2 hours an application will be sent!

  6. michael lee shofner    

    How can I apply for a retreat Im a 100% disabled vet

    1. Heather Ehle    

      Hi Michael!
      We would be honored to host you!! Fill out our registration here: https://projectsanctuary.us/forms/
      and about ~2 hours an application will be sent!

  7. Barbara White    

    Love getting the VA news, so many informati ve articles. The April VA news talked about the various retreats held for veterans. However, those listed don’t seem to include your pre 911 veterans or those that are 100% disabled. Also, i would like to see an article which addresses financial, estate planning and legal services for our vets. So many caregivers have the full responsibiliry of household, taking care of their vet 24/7. We need help too!.

    1. Heather Ehle    

      We serve ALL Eras. And we partner with First Command Financial Services and teach finances at retreats. After the retreat you are matched with a FREE financial advisor in your community to continue to help. We totally understand that the whole family needs support!

    2. Heather Ehle    

      We serve ALL Eras. And we partner with First Command Financial Services and teach finances at retreats. After the retreat you are matched with a FREE financial advisor in your community to continue to help. We totally understand that the whole family needs support!

    3. Heather Ehle    

      Hi Barbara! We accept all eras and teach financial classes AND you are matched with a financial advisor in your community for FREE to help with your needs after your retreat. Caregivers need support too!

  8. Judy Peterson    

    I agree with Paula. I am 100% disabled veteran pre 9/11 and there is little information about retreats for our group. It is another slap in the face for our service.

    1. Heather Ehle    

      Once again…. We serve ALL ERAS 🙂 And serve single veterans, couples or families.
      Any military family or veteran that would benefit from a therapeutic retreat is welcome! Fill out our registration here: https://projectsanctuary.us/forms/
      and about ~2 hours an application will be sent!

  9. Rodney Wollam    

    “this program provided continued support in a time when a.. vet may feel alone”

    How ironic is it that lonely single people who have never had the fortune to be married or have children are not welcome?

    1. Heather Ehle    

      Single veterans are absolutely welcome!! And we proudly serve All! You may attend solo, or bring a battle buddy, friend or relative!

  10. Tyrone lamont watson    

    I think this is very helpful to veterans I would like. To on one of these retreats iam a 28years army veteran and bi would like to. Help my follow. Veterans ssg tyrone watson retired.

    1. Heather Ehle    

      Any military family or veteran that would benefit from a therapeutic retreat is welcome! Fill out our registration here: https://projectsanctuary.us/forms/
      and about ~2 hours an application will be sent! We also love it when veterans volunteer! https://projectsanctuary.us/volunteer/

  11. Russ Owens    

    Check this out. https://bouldercrest.org/warriorpathh
    No pre 9/11 requirement and life changing

    1. Heather Ehle    

      We also welcome all eras, not just post 9/11!

  12. Aileen Dodge    

    Peacetime Veterans rate lower than Whale Poop! I can’t believe you even have to ask!!!

  13. Royce M Dressel    

    I would comment but last time I did ,you posted it on the world wide web. Great job, really appreciated that , ( that’s sarcasm , i put this explanation in parentheses because sarcasm doesn’t really work in print very well) so, well, yeah,there’s all that. When these vets come back they are still in “taking orders mode”, society innudates them with instructions that include how messed up they must be , so, they become messed up to fit that “instruction”. They weren’t messed up while they had their buddies around them ,then suddenly bam! Messed up. In closing ,I would just like to comment that sometimes telling people they can kiss your ass is completely appropriate. It’s also fun.

    [Editor: Vantage Point, the official VA blog blog, lives on the World Wide Web.]

  14. louis j swift    

    How do you apply i am a vet retired in 2009, i served in Vietnam bosnia kosovo and Iraq

    1. Heather Ehle    

      Any military family or veteran that would benefit from a therapeutic retreat is welcome! Fill out our registration here: https://projectsanctuary.us/forms/
      and about ~2 hours an application will be sent!

  15. PaulaMinger    

    Once again, only Post 9/11 veterans and families? There are thousands of these types of retreats for POST 9/11 w PTSD but nothing for our 100% physically wounded PRE 9/11

    Why?

    1. Heather Ehle    

      Not true. We take veterans of all eras. Any military family that would benefit from a therapeutic retreat is welcome!

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