The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

November/December 2005

Continuing Our Work


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.

The 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 special-needs population.

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.

The Homeless 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 veterans.


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