Air Force

July 5, 2013

Airmen work to end veteran homelessness by 2015

Senior Airman Camilla Griffin
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office

Col. Michael T. Rawls, 355th Fighter Wing vice commander, spoke at a press conference at city hall in Tucson, June 21, about ending veteran homelessness by 2015.

The White House has announced an initiative to end veterans homelessness by 2015, and Tucson is one of 25 flagship cities selected to lead this effort.

Tucson’s mayor, Jonathan Rothschild, has embraced this challenge and formed a working group to focus on identifying homeless and chronically homeless veterans.

They intend to place 52 veterans a month into housing. They also plan to cut the HUD VASH Voucher processing time in half, from 40 days to 20 days. HUD, stands for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and VASH stands for Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing.

“Our homeless veterans run the gamut from chronic homeless to students taking classes at Pima Community College or the University of Arizona and living in their cars,” Rothschild said. “We can get both populations, chronic homeless and recent homeless off the street and into housing. We’re working hard to make this happen quickly, but it certainly won’t be easy. It’s going to require commitment from our city departments and employees, from our agency partners and from our community.”

Chronic homelessness is defined as someone who has been homeless for a year or four or more times in three years.

There are more than 350 homeless veterans in Tucson.

Partnering agencies include: CODAC Behavioral Health, the Tucson VA, American Red Cross, Tucson Fire Department, Tucson Police Department and the DM50.

Trained personnel go all over Tucson, into washes and under bridges, to find homeless veterans and try to get them to come in for assistance.

Veterans are given Section 8 housing choice vouchers through the VASH program after going through the VA for permanent housing. The veterans are referred to the city’s Housing & Community Development Office for furniture after they have chosen an apartment, signed the lease and had a housing inspection.

The amount of household furnishings varies with each client, based on their need and what is available.

“We are proud of the partnership we’ve development with the city’s Housing & Community Development Office,” Rawls said. “In the last two years, D-M has donated about 90 dorm rooms of furniture in support of efforts to house homeless veterans. We look forward to continuing this partnership.”

The furniture donated includes beds, dressers, desks, chairs and other miscellaneous items.

Rawls also reminded the press conference attendees that as wars wind down, veterans will be getting out of the military and may need assistance getting back into the civilian world.

“Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom have been the longest-running conflicts in our nation’s history,” Rawls said. “As we see these conflicts come to an end and the military services poised to become smaller over the next ten years, there will be an increasing number of veterans leaving the military.”

Rawls, new to the Tucson community, is very excited to know that Tucson was picked as a flagship city for this program.

“I’d like to thank each and every one of the organizations represented here today, and those who couldn’t be with us today, for their outstanding support of our military veterans,” Rawls said. “I can’t fully express my appreciation for what you do, and your passion and commitment to ensuring there isn’t a single military veteran without a place to call home.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD

DoD takes steps to aid absentee voters

WASHINGTON – As the Nov. 4 midterm election nears, Defense Department officials are taking steps to ensure absentee voting is even easier for service members, their families and overseas citizens via FVAP.gov. In coordination with the military services and State Department, Absentee Voting Week begins today, aiming to raise awareness and remind voters of important...
 
 

New EPR challenges status quo

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – The enlisted performance report is going to drastically change. These changes seek to combat inflated ratings, which have been a prevalent complaint from Airmen over the years. The change is right around the corner and many Airmen are asking themselves, “How will it affect future promotions, and what can I do...
 
 

55th Rescue Squadron returns home

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Camilla Elizeu) U.S. Air Force Maj. Stephanie Harley, 355th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bio Engineering Flight commander, and son welcome home Capt. Colin Harley, 55th Rescue Squadron HH-60 Pavehawk pilot, at Davis-Monthan, Oct. 11. Capt. Harley has just returned from a five-month deployment to Afghanistan.
 

 

AF to implement TDY policy changes

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) — Recently, the Air Force started implementing two temporary duty policy changes that will impact travel reimbursements for Airmen. The first change, which took effect Oct. 1, made changes to the Joint Travel Regulations, Reimbursable and Incidental Expense Policy. The second will be a change in long-term TDY per...
 
 

OPSEC: Everyone’s responsibility

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Everyone who’s been around the military has heard the term Operations Security, or OPSEC, but do they really know what it means? Many people think OPSEC is all about classified information, when the opposite is true; OPSEC targets critical and sensitive unclassified information. OPSEC is a fundamental principle of the Air...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin