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November/December Issue

red star bulletThe Veteran Departments : Featured Stories / Letters / President's Message / VVAF Report / Government Relations / Veterans Benefits Update / PTSD Substance Abuse Committee Report / AVVA Report / SHAD/Project 112 Task Force Report / Veterans Against Drugs Task Force Report / Constitution Committee Report / Convention Resolution Report / Healthcare Budget Reform / NamJam / South Korean Veterans / Arts of War / Book Review / Books / Membership Notes / Locator / Reunions / 4 Chaplains /

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VVAF Report

BY RANDY BARNES, PRESIDENT, VIETNAM VETERANS ASSISTANCE FUND

In FY2006, the Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund gave $6,000 to the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) to produce a DVD and video to tell the MACV story and to increase the awareness of homeless veterans and their needs in Minnesota.

The VVAF grant was used entirely for production and duplication costs. MACV was able to negotiate the portion of the production costs that surpassed these funds as an in-kind donation.

The DVD already has become the critical tool in the organization’s fund-raising efforts. MACV has been helping veterans and their families throughout Minnesota for more than fourteen years. It has provided supportive services in the areas of housing, employment, and legal counseling to more than three thousand veterans and their families.

MACV focuses on helping veterans who want to help themselves and make life changes. Through regional offices in Duluth, Minneapolis, and Mankato, MACV provides assistance with temporary and permanent housing, job skills, job placement, legal issues, emergency food and shelter, and long-term reintegration into society.

Are there homeless veterans in Minnesota? A study by the Wilder Foundation found that on any given night some seven hundred veterans in Minnesota were homeless. A new trend is emerging in homeless veterans from the Gulf War and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. MACV is there to support these veterans. Funding from the VA and other federal and state programs continues to fall short of the need, thereby forcing MACV to turn away some who need help.

MACV, the only organization in Minnesota dedicated to helping veterans with homeless issues, deals with veterans who are currently homeless and with veterans who are just steps away from eviction or losing their homes. MACV also helps with the root causes of homelessness.

MACV has had a significant and positive impact on the lives of veterans. Through a grant targeted for the creation of a DVD, VVAF has helped MACV get the word out.

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