The dust has settled from the Convention in Reno, and it is time
to continue the fight for homeless veterans. I want to thank VVA
President John Rowan for reappointing me as the Homeless Task
Force Chair and the Board of Directors for accepting my
appointment. During the task force hearings in Reno, it was very
evident that the one thing everyone agreed on was doing a
resource workshop at the next Leadership Conference.
Resolutions, as presented, were passed without objection or
change. We will continue to urge Congress to require all
entities and agencies that receive federal funds to report the
number of veterans they serve, and we will continue to encourage
legislators at every level to recognize homeless veterans as a
At our most
recent task force meeting, we discussed initiating an award to
be given annually to an individual who has made a successful
transition from homelessness back into the community as a
productive citizen. The criteria are being developed. When
finalized, the nomination form will be printed in The VVA
Veteran. This honor will be called the Bobby J. Award in honor
of a formerly homeless veteran in recovery. In keeping with the
traditions of 12-step programs, we will not reveal his last
name. Bobby J. died in December 2001.
I am working
with Carol Engle at the national office to set up a task force
webpage on the VVA website. I have asked all the State Council
Presidents to provide a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) to whom
information can be disseminated for quicker distribution at the
state council and chapter levels.
With a new
generation of veterans we face a new generation of homeless
veterans. This generation undoubtedly will bring new issues and
needs, especially for women veterans and those with children.
This task force will remain vigilant in its work to insure that
these needs and issues are addressed. We continue to push for
full funding and implementation of the Homeless Veterans
Assistance Act. We continue to insist that HUD request full
funding for the HUD-VA Supportive Housing program.
Veterans Task Force is an active member of the National
Coalition of Homeless Veterans and has representation on the VA
Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans. We will continue to
work toward ending chronic homelessness among our nation’s