Just prior to my appointment as
Chair in June, Marsha Four, Paul Sutton, and I attended the
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans Annual Conference, the
only national gathering of providers and agencies working
exclusively with homeless veterans. The theme of the meeting was
"Shaping America's Agenda for Homeless Veterans.''
Fran Murphy, Deputy Undersecretary
for Health, gave a presentation. Discussions were held on the VA
Homeless Grant & Per Diem Program. Frederico Juarbe, Assistant
Secretary, VETS, made a presentation on behalf of the Department
of Labor. The possible turnover to the VA of the VETS program,
including the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Programs, was
briefly discussed. Philip Manago, Executive Director of the
Interagency Council on the Homeless, has been charged with
creating a strategy to end homelessness in ten years.
conference, we met with U.S. Reps. Bob Borski and Bob Brady,
aides from the offices of U.S. Reps. Curt Weldon and Tim Holden, and Minority
Chief Counsel and Staff Director for the Senate Veterans Affairs
Committee, Bill Turek.
official duty as Chair of the Homeless Veterans Task Force was
to attend the 15th Annual San Diego Stand-down and National
Stand-down Conference in July.
opportunity to attend the San Diego Stand-down was a kind of
pilgrimage to the roots of Stand-down. I talked with the two
veteran founders, Robert Van Keuren and Jon Nachison.
Being on the field every day and observing the operation was
Presentations were given on the beginnings of Stand-down. The
concept of Stand-downs as multi-day events was stressed. A sense
of community can only be attained during multi-day events.
Several workshops were held during the conference. I attended
the Resources and Reporting session.
recent Leadership Conference in Tucson, the Task Force had Pete
Dougherty discuss the specifics of P.L. 107-95. When the
regulations have been formalized, information will be provided.