Another 45 chronically homeless veterans are well on their way to their new homes.
The District of Columbia Housing Authority was awarded 45 new Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, or VASH, vouchers in May with the goal of having veterans housed in 60 days.
“I am so happy to say that every new VASH voucher is spoken for and that more than 30 veterans already have either found or have already moved into their new homes,” said DCHA Executive Director Adrianne Todman. “By working with our community partners, we have helped to quickly serve these men and women who proudly served our country.”
The remaining veterans are touring the many pre-inspected units that are available to them.
“When we learned we were receiving new vouchers, we reached out to our landlord network to get as many units as possible pre-inspected to facilitate veterans moving in as soon as possible,” said Ron McCoy, Director of DCHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program.
The outreach led to more than 100 units being pre-inspected for incoming voucher recipients.
Those efforts also led to Tyoka Jackson, owner of the Jackson Investment Company. Jackson, a former NFL player, who offered units to veterans. To thank the veterans for their service, the Jackson family also offered free meals at the IHOP restaurants that they own and treated them to a Mystics basketball game. Jackson and his family have fed veterans every Veterans Day for the past two years, so it came naturally to make the offer, he said. His father and nephew are veterans and his brother is a police officer, so the family’s respect for service is deeply instilled. Their annual Veterans Day meal is designed to raise awareness of the issue of veteran homelessness.
“Feeding veterans on Veterans Day didn’t just raise awareness for other folks, but it increased our awareness of the problem [of homeless veterans]." Jackson said.
This Veterans Day, Jackson and his family plan to serve a meal to 200 veterans through partnerships with DCHA, U.S. Vets, and a whole host of organizations that participate in DCHA’s annual Veterans Appreciation Day. Building on the success of previous years’ events, organizations like Veterans NOW, the District of Columbia Building Industry Association, University of the District of Columbia, and countless other city and community organizations will offer a multitude of services that day, ranging from housing to health to employment to name a few.
“It is just a natural partnership and I’m really excited to be a small part of the solution to what is a huge problem,” Jackson said. “This is one step to helping other folks to end the hardship of America’s veterans.”