By Marcie Polier Swartz
I often get this question: Why can’t you train the homeless Vets to work?
I often give this answer: Have you ever noticed a close family member or friend who just can’t work and is frankly better off for it? Have you ever noticed that sometimes certain people when forced to work have so much work-related anxiety that they make others around them uncomfortable as their own levels of anxiety rise off the charts? Some homeless Veterans get housed and are not be able to find meaningful work. So what. It’s a process.
Village for Vets has created Income Stipends for Veterans who are living independently but can’t quite make ends meet. On December 9, at the Brentwood Festivus (holiday event) we awarded our first $10,000 stipend to PATH on behalf of a Veteran family. They will buy the family a used car, car insurance and two car seats for their adorable kids. It was deeply moving and reflective of the Holiday Spirit. PATH stands for People Assisting the Homeless and can be found at http://www.epath.org/site/main.html.
So many of you have been asking why ‘they’ can’t create emergency housing for homeless Vets on that large VA campus? These are disgruntled words mixed with the frustration of wanting the problems to disappear and government funding to magically wipe it all away. Where is all the promised development? Why can’t the government pay for development now?
The government can’t wipe these problems away. They need a partnership with the community at large to achieve lasting solutions. Become part of the solution by joining Village for Vets (www.villageforvets.org today. We are the support group for the VAGLAHS and together we are helping homeless Vets.
Our Daily Meals Program on the VA campus, a partnership with Meals on Wheels and the Westside Food Bank, is getting sandwiches, fruit and Think Thin high protein bars into the hands of hungry homeless Vets every day. We going from 5 to 7 days this year as Brentwood School has stepped into the role of weekend provider. We hope to add hot meals to our program this year. The better our program gets, the more homeless Vets will come to the VA to use it.
Marcie Polier Swartz
Village for Vets