Today’s feature is in honor of the upcoming Fourth of July celebration! Such a large portion of our homeless population is our own heroes – American Veterans – and Buoy believes one major key to pulling them out of poverty is through connection to steady employment. This is meant to provide awareness of a current initiative with hopes that it will open doors to other opportunities for employing our homeless veterans.
” ‘They saved me,’ said the 56-year-old former Marine, who got VA assistance in landing a job with a suburban Cincinnati company.
Job-ready veterans exiting homelessness like Bowles and others on the brink of homelessness can now turn to the VA’s Homeless Veterans Community Employment Services for individualized assistance in finding the types of stable jobs needed to sustain housing.
The program officially launched last month uses 154 community employment coordinators at VA locations nationwide to help identify job-ready veterans and establish relationships with local employers. They also connect veterans with resources to help them succeed after finding work.
Homelessness is a serious problem among veterans: nearly 50,000 were homeless on a single night in January 2014, according to a count developed through a partnership between the VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Veterans trying to move from homelessness shouldn’t be burdened with trying to figure out where to find transportation assistance or clothes for job interviews or employers willing to hire them, said Carma Heitzmann, national director of the new homeless employment program.
‘The idea is to try to put all those resources together so it’s more streamlined and efficient for the veteran,’ Heitzmann said.
The Cleveland VA’s coordinator says that while efforts are made to match veterans’ skills with employers’ needs, veterans’ preferences are also considered.
‘We want them to have jobs they have a passion for and want to continue long-term,’ said Daniel Abraham.
Dwight Washington, of the Cleveland suburb of Richmond Heights, was able to get such a job with Abraham’s help. The 61-year-old Army veteran was on the brink of homelessness after a temporary job through the VA ended. But Abraham connected Washington, who has years of experience with mechanical and electrical maintenance, with a company providing maintenance services for the Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland.
Washington now works there and loves it.
‘It’s good to feel normal and be self-sufficient again,’ he said.” (Source)
“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”