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Several formerly homeless veterans received keys to their new homes at the District of Columbia Housing Authority’s seventh annual Veterans Appreciation Day, this year named the Stand at Ease Conference.

“Although some of us might not have personally served in some form of military service, each and every day we benefit from the ultimate sacrifices of our veterans. Our liberties, freedoms, and opportunities are all byproducts of those who serve our nation in times of war and peace,” said DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett addressing the veterans today at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. “As an agency, we strive every day to ensure we are able to honor our veterans by connecting them with services, employment, and housing needs. Therefore, we have an opportunity to serve by honoring those who have made unselfish sacrifices to guarantee our ‘pursuit of happiness.’ It is that commitment for which all veterans are to be celebrated and it is that idea that we all should strive to achieve to honor their sacrifice.”

Some 400 veterans from the District, Maryland, and Virginia attended the event, which is a one-stop shop for a multitude of services including housing, job readiness assessments, legal services, and haircuts. Veterans received a sit-down breakfast and listened to motivational speakers. Following the speaking program, veterans were able to go from booth to booth to fulfill their needs.

“This is it for me. I’m as happy as a jaybird,” said Cedric Lucas, a formerly homeless U.S. Marine Corps veteran who received keys to his new home. “I didn’t think I would have a place to lay my head.”

The event is hosted by DCHA, which partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, D.C. Department of Employment Services, U.S. Department of Justice, and nearly 30 other community and government organizations to offer their specialized services to the veterans.

The first 200 veterans to attend the event will receive a free breakfast at IHOP on November 10. The first 100 men and 50 women received grooming kits.

 

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Veterans Cedric Lucas and Larry Johnson holding keys to their new homes with HCVP Director Ronald McCoy (far right).
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Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs Director Ely Ross with DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett
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Last modified: 11/9/2018 4:51:56 PM