Foster a Veteran For $3,000 Per Month

Mary Anderson was newly widowed and didn’t like coming home to an empty house.

So when the retired nurse found out about medical foster homes for veterans, she signed up. For the past five years, the program run by the VA hospital in Murfreesboro has provided her with extra income and a purpose behind each day.

“You have to want to do it and be committed,” Anderson said, “not just be in it for the paycheck.”

Anyone who fosters a veteran can make between $1,500 and $3,000 a month, depending upon the level of care provided. Doing so requires taking a veteran into your home and agreeing to unscheduled inspections.

My first reaction to this story from the Tennessean was, “WEIRD” but that may have been a reaction to calling it “foster care.” Upon reflection, I think it’s great (in case the Murfreesboro VA was looking for my approval). The program is designed for veterans who aren’t a great match for a nursing home and are at-risk for homelessness. Caregivers can take care of up to three veterans at once, depending on the level of their needs and the caregiver’s ability to meet them. The getting paid bit might squick you out, but caregivers provide meals, living space, and around-the-clock care.

I’m sure that, much like traditional foster care, there are a million ways for this to go wrong, but if the alternative is crowded hospitals and homeless veterans, pairing those in need with generous people who have the space and desire for this kind of work in their lives seems like an ideal arrangement.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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