To coordinate efforts of The Michigan American Legion Family in augmenting efforts to assist homeless veter-ans that they may encounter and to supplement where possible existing homeless veterans providers and to support the mission and objectives of the National American Legion Homeless Veterans Task Force.
- Provide financial and in-kind Donations Fundraising
- Programmatic Expertise and Guidance
- Benefits Counseling
- Encourage Michigan Legion Family Participation with Homeless Veterans Organizations
- Coordinate, track and record Michigan Legion Family efforts on behalf of homeless veterans
Letter From Department Commander
Michigan Legion Family (Legion, Auxiliary, SAL & Riders)
As many of you know by now, my special project for this year is homeless veterans.
Veterans make up a significant portion of the adult homeless population in the United States. Recent studies estimate that veterans comprise about 23 percent of all home-less adults, and 33 percent of homeless men. Although few large-scale studies exist of homeless female veterans, they are believed to make up approximately two per-cent of the population of homeless veterans.
Most homeless veterans (98 percent) are single men. Roughly consistent with the general population of homeless men, about 40 percent of homeless veterans suffer from mental illness, and 80 percent have alcohol or other drug abuse problems (with considerable overlap in these populations). Yet un-like the general population, homeless male veterans are more likely to be White non-Hispanic, older (45+ years), and more educated than their non-veteran counterparts. They are also more likely to have longer episodes of homelessness.
Compared to homeless male veterans, homeless female veterans tend to be younger, more likely to be married, and less likely to be employed. They are also more likely to suffer from serious psychiat-ric illness, but less likely to have a substance abuse disorder. With respect to substance abuse and mental illness, homeless female veterans do not appear to be significantly different from other homeless women.
In the words of the VA Secretary: “Our Commitment,
President Obama and I are personally committed to ending homelessness among Veterans within the next five years. I learned long ago that there are never any absolutes in life, and a goal of zero homeless Veterans sure sounds like an absolute. But unless we set ambitious targets for ourselves, we would not be giving this our very best efforts. No one who has served this Nation as Veterans have should ever be living on the streets. “
Legion family, I am asking for your support in making the Department of Michigan the leader of The American Legion’s 55 Departments in helping and assisting homeless Veterans who reside in the state of Michigan. Our Legion Family members are doing great things on behalf of homeless veter-ans across our great state. Thanks to your generosity, close to $2,000.00 has been donated to my special project thus far. As I visit various homeless provider sites, I’m in awe and so proud of the fact that so many of you have donated your time, supplies, and money.
The Department of Michigan would like to concentrate on providing a mechanism for our family to be even more effective in our efforts to provide assistance to our homeless veterans and that is by coordinating our efforts through our Homeless Veterans Task Force Chairman and providing infor-mation to our entire Michigan Legion Family about resources that are available for our Homeless Veterans.
In progress right now:
We are developing a department website that any Legion Family member will be able to access homeless veteran information both nationally and locally
Uniform data forms will be made available for Legion Family members to record and report their efforts on behalf of homeless veterans. The Department HVTFC will then compile the data into a Department of Michigan HVTFCR (Homeless Veterans Task Force Consolidated Report) which will allow us to provide data on what we are doing state wide for Homeless Veterans. It will also allow us to not duplicate efforts and spend our time and resources much more efficiently. These forms will also make it easier to report our efforts on the PCR’s (Post Consolidated Reports).
Legion Family members will be requested to let the Department HVTFC (Homeless Veteran Task Force Chairman) know when they have an event planned to help homeless veterans. The event will be placed on our Website Calendar so that all Michigan Legion Family Members will know and possibly chip in to help out.
Target date for the roll out of our Homeless Veterans Web Page is 6/1/2012
What I would like to have in place by 7/1/201
Department of Michigan Family Homeless Veterans Task Force Organization
Homeless Veterans Task Force Chairman
Economic Committee Chairman
Zone 1 HVTF SPOC (Single Point of Contact)
Zone 2 HVTF SPOC
Zone 3 HVTF SPOC
Zone 4 HVTF SPOC
Zone 5 HVTF SPOC
Let me emphasize that I would really like this to be a family affair. The 5 Zone SPOC’s ideally will be a combination of Legion, Auxiliary, SAL and Riders. I am asking my Zone and District Command-ers to please seek out volunteers who would like to be part of the HVTF team and submit their names to me by 6/20/2012.
I know this may sound ambitious, but as Secretary Eric K. Shinseki stated “unless we set ambi-tious targets for ourselves, we would not be giving this our very best efforts”. Please feel free to share your thoughts and feedback with me. Looking forward to working with all of you to make this effort a success.
Richard I. Chatman
“No United States Veteran Should Ever Be Homeless”
The American Legion coordinates a Homeless Veterans Task Force (HVTF) amongst its 55 departments. Our goal is to augment existing homeless veteran pro-viders, the VA Network Homeless Coordinators, and the Department of Labor’s Homeless Veter-ans Reintegration Program (HVRP), Veterans Workforce Investment Program (VWIP), Disabled Veterans Outreach Personnel (DVOPs) and local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs).
In addition to augmentation, we then attempt to fill in the gaps where there is no coverage. Each of The American Legion’s Departments contains an HVTF Chairman and an Employment chairman. These two individuals coordinate activities with The American Legion’s local posts within their state.
The three tiered coordination of these two chairmen and numerous local posts attempt to symbioti-cally assist homeless veterans and prevent future homelessness.
The American Legion Homeless Veterans Task Force
Economic Division—The American Legion
1608 K St NW, Washington, DC 20006