A publication of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

February 2001/March 2001

Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund Report

Mobile Service for Homeless Veterans in the Sunshine State

A VVA Staff Report

In its first six months of operation, the Florida Veterans Mobile Service Center (FVMSC) logged more than 11,000 miles, traveling to 29 locations throughout the state where it provided services to more than 1,700 homeless veterans. The center is operated by Volunteers of America of Florida and is funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VVAs Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund (VVAF), and several Veterans Service Organizations.

The center was commissioned at a ceremony at the Miami VA Medical Center on February 22, 2000, and immediately began its outreach program to homeless veterans. The FVMSC participated in several homeless stand-downs in Florida, during which it offered an array of medical, dental, and communications services. It also helped homeless veterans work with the VA Homeless Veterans staffers, county Veteran Service Officers, and other local health-care providers.

FVMSC officials believe that because their vehicle is a combination medical center and benefits center on wheels, it gives them the opportunity to go where the need is the greatest. The center has helped homeless veterans with food, clothing, health care, dental care, psychiatric and drug abuse counseling, housing, and employment.

Response has been overwhelmingly favorable. For one thing, the FVMSC has proved to be more approachable for homeless veterans than traditional "bricks and mortar" facilities. The staff also has worked to make sure that their innovative outreach methods work effectively and treat veterans with dignity and respect.

The FVMSCs 2000-2001 schedule is available on line at http://www.voa-fla.org .


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