Furniture program for previously homeless vets

ABC Channel 10 News aired a 90-second prime-time special on Thursday, March 18, at 6 p.m. highlighting Frank Squire, U.S. Army veteran and member of American Legion Sacramento Legislative Action Post 861 in Sacramento, Calif, and his Furniture Program team that picks up and delivers home furnishings to newly housed, previously homeless veterans.

Also, on Thursday, Jan. 21, Frank received the Outstanding Member of the Year Award for the year 2020, presented by Post 861 Commander Harper, Observing COVID restrictions, a group of post members assembled on Frank's front lawn for the ceremony.

Five years ago, Frank began volunteering at Mather VA Medical Center in California by providing rides to patients in need. It wasn’t long before he found himself being asked by Volunteer Services to pick up and deliver some items of furniture to the new living quarters of enrolled formerly homeless veterans at the request of Mather VA social workers who were implementing the HUD-VASH program. The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program is a collaborative program between HUD and VA which combines HUD housing vouchers with VA supportive services to help homeless veterans and their families find and sustain permanent housing.

Frank’s furniture delivery program flourished substantially and he found himself coordinating the work of several men and women volunteers, paying for as many as seven storage units himself, and delivering furniture to Woodland, Davis, Jackson, Elk Grove, Del Paso and all cities in the Greater Sacramento area. As the program grew, so did the storage requirements, that were not donated. Frank has been struggling for several years to get help from Mather VA and local government to provide storage facilities, and to acquire some financial support from local VSOs to help take some of the load off so he wouldn’t have to continue paying for the needed storage units himself, but without much success. Frank and his crew are an outstanding and noteworthy example of veterans helping veterans. Congratulations and thank you!