A Recognizes Outstanding Achievements in Homeless Programs

A Recognizes Outstanding Achievements in Homeless Programs

Top Facilities, Employees and Partners Honored

WASHINGTON, DC – November 24, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The best facilities, employees and civilian providers working to eliminate homelessness among Veterans were recently honored by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“VA’s commitment to end homelessness among America’s Veterans is being fulfilled by the hard work, innovation and dedication of thousands of VA employees and civilian partners,” said Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs W. Scott Gould.

Gould’s remarks came at the annual Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Service to Homeless Veterans ceremony. The awards single out the top achievers in three categories:

· Individual VA employees:

o Robert Van Keuren, Network Coordinator, VISN 2 Homeless Programs (retired), Canandaigua, N.Y.;

o Melissa Meierdierks, social worker, Phoenix; and

o Maura Squire, homeless veterans outreach coordinator, Boston.

· VA team or organization:

o VISN 23 Regional taskforce in Iowa City, Iowa; and

o Hampton VA Medical Center HUD-VASH Program in Hampton, Va.

· Community organization or individual:

o Longview Housing Authority, Longview, W. Va.;

o New England Center for Homeless Veterans, Boston;

o Veterans Leadership Program for Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh;

o Brad Bridwell, Arizona state Department of Veterans Affairs, Phoenix.

In Fiscal Year 2011, homeless Veterans received approximately $3.5 billion in VA health care and approximately $800 million in specialized homeless programs. VA estimates about 76,000 Veterans are homeless on a typical evening. At-risk veterans, the families of homeless Veterans and the families of at-risk Veterans are also being helped by educational, vocational, counseling and job-search programs to deal with the factors that lead to homelessness.

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