Homeless veterans get help at Fort Worth fair
FORT WORTH, Nov 15, 2012 (Fort Worth Star-Telegram - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Veterans Affairs Department is committed to ending chronic homelessness for veterans, and an event held Wednesday in Fort Worth is the kind of project that can help make it happen, a federal official said.
Tommy Sowers, assistant secretary for the VA's office of public and intergovernmental affairs in Washington, D.C., visited the Cowtown Homeless Veteran Stand Down, where 25 to 30 vendors offered services to more than 100 homeless veterans at the Resource Connection.
Homeless men and women got information on housing, educational and employment programs, as well as hygiene kits, food, clothing and shoes.
"The federal government doesn't have all the solutions, and we have to partner with state, local and community organizations to get this done," Sowers said. "No veteran who fought for their country should have to fight for a roof over their head."
In 2009, President Barack Obama and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced the federal government's goal to end veteran homelessness by 2015. The effort has moved about 40,000 veterans off the streets, lowering the estimated number of homeless veterans to 65,000, Sowers said.
"It is a bold and ambitious goal," Sowers said.
Wednesday's event was the fourth held at the Resource Connection. Last year's drew 165 veterans, said Linda Saucedo, program manager for the Fort Worth homeless veterans program.
Darlene Armstead, 48, who served in the Marines from 1982 to 1986, said she found everything from new shoes to information on the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program. The job-training program is designed to prepare 99,000 veterans for work during the next two years.
"They have everything real well organized here," Armstead said. "It's good to see all people who can help you together so you can just walk up and get your questions answered."
Alex Branch, 817-390-7689
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