This Friday, October 10th marks the 5th anniversary of "World Homeless Day". It is a day, set aside, to honor those organizations directly involved in helping the homeless throughout the world and to encourage people to show compassion toward the homeless by creating some home grown activities that will make life easier for those less fortunate than us. Homelessness has become a very serious issue not only in the major cities but in the suburbs as well.
The "Homeless Veterans Work Group" (HVWG) is a subcommittee under the umbrella of Veterans for Peace which has been tasked, since June of 2011, to directly help the homeless but with a special emphasis on the veteran's homeless population.
This group acts as a vehicle in aiding all chapters of Veterans for Peace by providing tools that they can use to help the homeless and their families in their chapter cities by provided a written audit trail of proven ways for helping the homeless as well as pointing out some pitfalls to avoid.
These practices, also known as "Best Practices," have proven to be effective and will allow any organization, be it faith based, nonprofit or govt. entity to quickly adopt these "Best Practices" and put them into practice in their city.
Here is a small sampling of some of the activities that have directly benefited the homeless:
1. Distribution of sleeping bags, and ponchos to the homeless
2. Veteran Court Computer Clinic
3. Veteran Sustainable agricultural training
4. Providing female veterans with ongoing support to obtain permanent housing
These are only a few of the many activities being carried out by various organizations. At present the HVWG is taking their story on the road and will be visiting their own home chapters, faith based organizations, nonprofits and governmental agencies to sell the idea of taking an active role in adopting and putting into play one or more of these practices.
President Obama has put a "stake in the ground" and set a goal to eliminate all homelessness amongst veterans in our county by the end of 2015. It a challenging but worthwhile goal
If enough people and organizations become committed to making this goal a reality it will be a wonderful day in our country.
At the very least our veterans have earned their keep and should be provided with the most basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter.