who we are
We want to work with veterans that are on the streets, that are homeless, that are struggling, that don’t have any know-how or knowledge of the resources available to them. Veterans have done so much for our country, and it's our honor to be able to serve them as an organization. It’s More Than A Backpack…It’s Hope #WeLiveToGive
We are innovating new solutions to decades old problems for veterans of all eras. Our team has taken the time to redevelop what a backpack means to a veteran by designing The Bowery Pack, a backpack engineered specifically to meet the needs of our homeless veterans.
Empowering veterans with a sense of security in their well-being is the foundation of who we are. We provide veterans with personalized assistance based on their specific needs. The goal? Ensure veterans know there is HOPE and that they can get on a path to self-sufficiency. We’re all about unifying the veteran community - See how we do this with our veteran business badge.
We can’t do this alone and that’s why collaborating with our vast network of fellow veteran resource organizations is critical to finding the perfectly tailored solution for each veteran’s needs. When we work together with other groups, we can get the mission done in a quick and efficient manner.
It’s not the lack of available resources but the lack of knowing how to find them that presents veterans with the biggest challenge, that’s why we’re creating ROGER, a centralized platform for veterans to find solutions based on their needs and qualifications.
Sgt. Brett D’Alessandro returned home from a 7-month deployment in Afghanistan to what he thought was the end of a long road. He learned very quickly that an even longer road filled with struggle & confusion lay ahead. After a challenging deployment, Brett and those who he returned home with, were now facing the hardest part of deployment; reintegrating into their civilian lives while battling with the hidden wounds of war.
After having a face-to-face encounter with a homeless veteran on the streets of Rhode Island in the winter, something resonated with Brett. It was not just him or those he deployed with or this man on the side of the road…it was MANY veterans, nationwide, dealing with the issues of coming home and not knowing where to turn. Brett took this moment as a sign to do more and be more for his fellow servicemen and women. That day, Brett distributed the first backpack to this veteran filled with socks, t-shirts and warming layers. From this…Backpacks For Life was born.
Since 2014, BFL has devoted their life to making sure no veteran has to sufferby providing them with the correct tools to recover which include coaching veterans, breaking bread with veterans, making them feel human and letting them know they aren’t alone. This is done through countless hours of personal interaction and the physical distribution of backpacks. Backpacks represent the first line of defense, a symbol of hope and much more to the team at Backpacks For Life.
what we do
Backpacks For Life’s mission is to provide a unique and personalized support system for homeless and at-risk veterans who are struggling to reintegrate back into civilian life. We want veterans of all eras to be able to seamlessly and confidently reintegrate and thrive in civilian life; equipped with the right tools and solutions to do so. Through our two main programs, we are able to effectively support and empower our veterans, reigniting the flame inside of them.
For veterans who have nothing, a backpack is their most crucial asset. It is their mobile home and for some, their only belongings are inside. Our backpack distribution program is More Than A Backpack. Our backpacks are a symbol of hope and reassurance that the veterans we work with are not alone on their path, and will always have a support system there for them when they need a helping hand. Backpack distribution is our gateway to reaching a veteran, building trust, and beginning the process of helping to elevate them off of the streets, out of poverty, and on a path towards self-sufficiency. Each backpack is filled with toiletries, supplies, and resources pertaining to supportive services. Our goal is to enhance the general well-being of our homeless veterans while providing tools to succeed.
want to run a donation drive to help fill our backpacks? email us for details!
Coaching & Mentorship
Navigating through resources and programs can be challenging for our veterans and their families. We work one-on-one with our veterans to provide them an action plan that is tailored to their needs. Whether in need of resume assistance, financial guidance or just someone to speak to; our mentorship program allows us to assist veterans in overcoming current hardships and obstacles. We aim to bridge the gap between veterans and the resources available to them so that they are able to maintain stability. We take time to focus on making the veteran feel human, appreciated and heard. . Through our effective intake process, we are able to understand the veteran’s needs, although they may not be able to see it and effectively connect them with the right groups and programs to fulfill those needs.