Ola Mae Ransom stepped out on faith after her two sons had returned from Vietnam changed men. They were both diagnosed with PTSD and Ola Mae tried to find resources and services to help them.
When she found out that these services didn't exist, she founded her own organization to offer these services, Alpha Omega Faith Homes. The organization started in a single duplex. Alpha Omega Faith Homes was the first non-profit agency specializing in services for homeless veterans. This was a place they could go after completing treatment at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Memphis, TN.
Just one year later the organization established bylaws and obtained 501(c)(3) status along with a full charter from the state of Tennessee.
Alpha Omega Faith Homes continued to build on its foundation in making a difference in the Memphis community. By 1990, Alpha Omega Faith Homes had grown to ten independent congregate family homes. We also had a 90-day Transitional Housing Program. As time progressed Alpha Omega Faith Homes decided to change its name in 1995 and became what is known today as Alpha Omega Veterans Services.
Alpha Omega Veterans Services started to expand its housing programs and in 2000 we opened a 30-Day to 2-year Supportive Transitional Housing program and a Drop-In Center at 1183 Madison Ave.
AOVS also purchased the officers housing for the Defense Depot to serve as a 32-bed housing facility. We further expanded our outreach in 2004 providing a 32 permanent support housing complex in a gated community as well as Mobile Outreach. We continued to grow by leaps and bounds making us leaders in providing quality supportive services for homeless veterans and their families.
By 2005 our partnerships began to grow. Alpha Omega Veterans Services started providing supportive services (room and board) for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Program.
This allowed us to expand our reach in helping Memphis veterans. As our partnerships were expanding our housing services continued to grow as well and we broke new ground with Alpha Omega's Home Ownership program and built three private residence homes for veterans. Our veterans deserve to not only have a place to stay, but thrive in ownership as well.
With over 20 years of providing services, Alpha Omega Veterans Services, Inc. expanded once again and opened a 10-Unit single resident occupancy (SRO) building for veterans.
We are concerned with the total well-being of our clients. This includes allowing our veterans to transition with peace and dignity. With that in mind, Alpha Omega also opened the Veterans Life House, a facility to provide Palliative and Hospice care for veterans. It is important to us and our mission to provide the support our veterans deserve.
Alpha Omega Veterans Services, Inc. continues to flourish as an organization. Since our inception we have helped almost 10,000 veterans. We are thankful to not only help our veterans, but we are proud to make the Memphis community a better place.
Our budget has increased from $80,000 to $4.5 million in assets and revenue. We take our mission very seriously and continue to look for ways to ensure our veterans are given the support they deserve. We have far exceeded the dreams of our founder and intend to continue in our quest to help the American veteran. We pledge to ensure “helping veterans help themselves” is not just our motto, but our mission.
Alpha Omega Veterans Services, Inc. was gifted the former Marine Corps Reserve Center located at 3114 Jackson Avenue in Memphis which was earmarked to assist veterans experiencing homelessness.
The gift of this property allowed Alpha Omega to consolidate and make this location the new headquarters while allowing enough room to provide expanded services for the clients, including additional farming acreage to continue horticultural therapy. A capital campaign ensued to obtain the necessary funds to fully renovate and expand the facility to meet our needs. Construction began on the new headquarters.
Alpha Omega Veterans Services, Inc. was able to reach more than half of its capital campaign goal and Alpha Omega held it's ribbon cutting ceremony on November 10th and Open House on November 11th.
A time of renewal is on the horizon as not only is Alpha Omega transitioning to a new beautiful facility, Mr. Cordell Walker, who as been the only Executive Director for more than 35 years is retiring at the end of 2023. A new Executive Director has been selected and will carry the torch to continue to critical work of Alpha Omega Veterans Services.
The capital campaign is still in progress. It's never to late to pledge your support through a monetary donation, in-kind donation or volunteerism.