LaGrange city council receives update on Waypoint

Published 6:50 pm Wednesday, January 23, 2019

On Tuesday, the LaGrange City Council received an update on Waypoint, or Discovering Soldiers Potential II, an agency that assists veterans and their families in obtaining benefits like healthcare, education and housing assistance.

The nonprofit was founded by Sandra Brownlee, a LaGrange native and U.S. Army veteran. Brownlee previously addressed the council in November 2017. Waypoint’s first location was in Griffin, but it has been active in LaGrange.

“I think it is very important that our veterans get the services that they deserve because it also takes a huge load off the community,” Brownlee said.

LaGrange Police Chief Lou Dekmar said that Waypoint has coordinated with the LaGrange Police Department to help veterans in need through the city’s community outreach program.

“They have hooked up with our community outreach and help veterans in need,” Dekmar said. “We’ve got great partners.”

Brownlee talked about the cost to cities of accommodating homeless veterans versus the benefits to a city or county when those veterans receive assistance needed to acquire a home.

“Based on the one year annualization of that veteran in that community, it saved the community about $47,000,” Brownlee said. “So, no longer do they have to go to the hospital because of emergency services because they’ve got veteran’s benefits. He can go to the VA. He utilizes the money that he is receiving now for housing, groceries and entertainment, but all these add up for the community when we serve the veterans the way we do.”

In her presentation, Brownlee shared some of the updates made since the program began, including adding a day when veterans can meet with staff at its office in the Children and Family Services building. She also emphasized that Waypoint aims to help all veterans, not just those who have hit their lowest point.

“This is not just for homeless veterans or veterans who need assistance,” Brownlee said. “It is also for veterans who are doing well and are not sure what they are entitled to, which we come across quite a bit.”

Brownlee said Waypoint also helps the spouses of veterans, who have questions about benefits.

For more information about Waypoint, call (706) 884-2651 ext. 512 or visit 1380 Lafayette Parkway on Tuesday or Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.