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Intersection - Welcome Home Expands to House and Assist More Columbia Veterans

Welcome Home is a transitional emergency and service center for veterans. The organization has been operating in Columbia for more than 25 years, and recently expanded. The mission? To reduce veteran homelessness by helping people gain housing, services and skills to form stable lives. 

Intersection's Sara Shahriari sat down with Timothy Rich, the executive director of Welcome Home, to learn about the organization and its new facilities.

  • In 2016 Welcome Home served 124 veterans, according to Rich. 

  • "You can't talk to a person about changing their life and upgrading their life until you've given them something to eat and they're not hungry, you've got 'em sheltered, you get 'em cleaned up and you restore their dignity," Rich says. "Once you do that, that stabilizes them. And then we can have conversations about how do we now change the future for you, because you have a clean slate ahead of you."

  • Rich says Welcome Home has an 80% success rate with moving veterans into independent or permanent housing within 90 days.

Assistant producers for this show are Elena Rivera, Hannah Haynes, Beatriz Costa-Lima and Drew Mathieu.

Sara Shahriari is the assistant news director at KBIA-FM, and she holds a master's degree from the Missouri School of Journalism. Sara hosts and is executive producer of the PRNDI award-winning weekly public affairs talk show Intersection. She also works with many of KBIA’s talented student reporters and teaches an advanced radio reporting lab. She previously worked as a freelance journalist in Bolivia for six years, where she contributed print, radio and multimedia stories to outlets including Al Jazeera America, Bloomberg News, the Guardian, the Christian Science Monitor, Deutsche Welle and Indian Country Today. Sara’s work has focused on mental health, civic issues, women’s and children’s rights, policies affecting indigenous peoples and their lands and the environment. While earning her MA at the Missouri School of Journalism, Sara produced the weekly Spanish-language radio show Radio Adelante. Her work with the KBIA team has been recognized with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and PRNDI, among others, and she is a two-time recipient of funding from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.