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Economic


Help for the Homeless T e American Legion’s Economic Commission works to ensure that veterans and their families


have opportunities to prosper. To achieve this goal, Washington-based staff work closely with government agencies, nonprofi t organizations, colleges, corporations and small businesses. Planks in the Economic Commission’s platform include education, jobs, small business development and the eradication of homelessness among veterans. Addressing homelessness has become a major priority for the Legion. In the past three years, the


organization has assisted VA Secretary Eric Shinseki in his eff orts to end veterans homelessness by 2015. Many Legion projects across the country have been completed or are under way to help struggling veterans. In May 2012, T e American Legion published “ON-CALL: Handbook For Homeless Veterans and


Service Providers,” which off ers comprehensive listings of employment resources, housing assistance, health and legal services, and more. T e Legion’s Homeless Veterans Task Force, with its department chairs, works to ensure that local resources are available for homeless veterans and their families, and provides direct aid when needed. T e goal is to provide immediate assistance so that homeless veterans can become self-supporting.


Local initiatives


 The American Legion family in New Jersey raised $165,000 to furnish the new housing wing of Veterans Haven, a state homeless veterans center. They ended up providing the entire facility with furniture, computers, recreation equipment and additional appliances.


 LaFlamme-Kusek Post 15 in Jewett City, Conn., gave up its post building to renovate it – along with a newly constructed adjacent building – into permanent housing for at-risk veterans. The project is a potential model for future homeless-housing development.


 Since 1988, the Department of Pennsylvania has operated six town homes that off er housing to veterans trying to get back on their feet. Only a small amount is charged for rent, and residents must clean, cook and maintain the common areas. About 700 veterans have gone through the program, which has a success rate of 85 percent.


Contact  econ@legion.org


Connections  www.legion.org/careers/homelessvethelp


16 T e American Legion Annual Report | 2012


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