Montana Veterans Foundation Press Kit


Inquiries and Interviews

To request video, photos, or interviews with staff members or resident veterans, please contact Helen Pent Jenkins at 406-459-2667 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  For more information about the Foundation or to view recent press releases please visit


Organization History

Established in 1998, the Montana Veterans Foundation began as a conversation at a coffee shop.  Our founding members gathered together to discuss veteran issues and the rise of veteran suicides including the tragic passing of Willis Cruse for which our living facility is named.  As veterans themselves, and frustrated with the limitation of the Department of Veteran Affairs, the group formed the Foundation to serve those veterans trapped in the circle of homelessness, unemployment, and addiction.


Organization Mission

The Montana Veterans Foundation (a 501c3 non-profit organization) is designed to assist homeless veterans (or veterans at rise of homelessness) in improving their quality of life, and in providing comprehensive support which enables veterans to achieve greater self-sufficiency.  The Foundation provides a safe, secure living environment—the Willis Cruse Transitional Living Facility—as well as personal and program assistance and access to a wide range of coordinated human services including mental health and medical treatment, addiction recovery, vocational support, job placement, mentoring, and life skills training.  

Created by veterans for veterans, the Montana Veterans Foundation’s goal is to offer integrated, holistic, clinically sound, and fiscally responsible human services to the veteran population of Montana.


Current Programs

The Montana Veterans Foundation currently works on three main projects.  The first is the Willis Cruse Transitional Living Facility.  The Willis Cruse Facility is a 12 bed transitional facility for homeless veteran men.  Veterans receive room and board in exchange for community service.  In addition they receive access to variety of rehabilitation help including diagnosis of mental illness by qualified mental health professionals, addiction recovery services, and general medical attention.  As part of their recovery program veterans are provided with continuing education opportunities, employment training services, and applied work experience.  There is a standing zero-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol and all veterans are required to offer their free time to community service efforts.  Since its inception, there have been 180 veterans who have successfully completed the recovery program and moved on to lead healthy fulfilling lives.

The second program we have is our Veterans Thrift Store which acts as a work program for unemployed veterans.  Veterans that work or volunteer at the thrift store learn life skills including personal accounting, shipping and receiving, and small business management.  All proceeds from the store go to support Foundation programs and helping other veterans.  

Lastly, we have our third and newest program, the Veterans Recovery Workshop which opened on Veterans Day November 11, 2011.  The Veterans Recovery Workshop is a hands-on project that provides veterans with technical skills training including wood working, leather work, mechanical training, computer skills, and training in artisanal crafts.  Currently there are no free of charge vocational training programs that cover these subject areas available to veterans in Montana.  As part of their ongoing recovery, veterans are encouraged to work with their hands; to complete positive projects that demonstrate their own abilities and self-worth.  This work program is an integral part of the goals for veteran reintegration into the mainstream workforce.  The recovery workshop is also an opportunity for veterans to produce and sell their crafts and products at the Veterans Thrift Store providing them with vendor and customer service experience.  The program seeks to accomplish three main goals:

1.To transition veterans into skill oriented work that allows them the opportunity to establish a livelihood that is flexible enough to sustain their ongoing health related recoveries.  All currently unemployed veterans living in our transitional facility will be required to go through this program. In addition the Workshop will also be open to all qualified veterans in the general population.  

2.To expand and develop the use of customized vocational training to include veterans with physical disabilities, mental health issues and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

3.To grow the recognition of specialized veteran outreach and customized labor for veterans with disabilities in government, business, and non-profit sectors.  

The Veterans Recovery Workshop is situated in two locations, behind the Willis Cruse Transitional Living Facility in a refurbished apartment space and behind our Veterans Thrift Store.  These spaces are separated because of the nature of the tasks that veterans will be performing (ie. wood working etc.).


Logo: Conditions of Use

The Montana Veterans Foundation logo is sole property of the foundation and may not be used without permission of an authorized official of the Foundation.  

The standard design logo offered herein ("Logo") is the exclusive property of The Montana Veterans Foundation. As such, the Foundation owns all right, title and interest in the logo, including but not limited to, copyright, trademark, service mark, trade dress, moral rights, rights under any statutory protection of arts, and otherwise, as applicable. As a customer of the Foundation ("You"), you acknowledge that the logo is being provided merely as a convenience and accommodation to you on an "AS IS" basis without warranty of any kind.

As a condition of use of the Foundation logo, you agree to:

Refrain from asserting any ownership, proprietary or other rights in any logo or to challenge, contest, or take any other action inconsistent with our exclusive ownership rights in the logos, irrespective of any use you may make of any logo;

Refrain from seeking any form of registration in any state, federal or foreign jurisdiction, of any trademark, service mark, trade dress, logo or other commercial designation that includes any logo or any colorable imitation or derivative thereof;

Indemnify and defend the Foundation and its affiliates from and against any claim, cost or liability of any kind, including for copyright and trademark infringement, arising out of your use of any logo; and

Waive, release and hold harmless the Foundation, its affiliates, vendors or donors from any claim or liability based upon our printing or provision of any materials to any other donor of the Foundation or its affiliates containing a logo similar or identical to a Logo offered herein.


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