Local nonprofit sets goal to replicate Miami-Dade’s 2018 end to chronic veteran homelessness in nearby Broward.
Broward County will host Dr. Paul F. Lawrence, former Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Wednesday, November 17, 2021 to celebrate the opening of the Operation Sacred Trust Veteran Service Center in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale. During the Trump Administration, Dr. Lawrence was one of VA’s highest-ranking officials, confirmed by Congress to oversee distribution of more than $125 billion in benefits to America’s veterans and lead the massive Veterans Benefits Administration, including compensation, pension and fiduciary, insurance, education, loan guaranty, vocational rehabilitation and employment.
Operation Sacred Trust, a division of the nonprofit Purpose Built Families Foundation, was established in 2011 as a VA-funded Supportive Services for Veteran Families (“SSVF”) program to end veteran homelessness in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. In 2018, the program helped Miami-Dade reach ambitious HUD benchmarks to declare an end to chronic veteran homelessness.
The agency’s new Veteran Service Center in downtown Fort Lauderdale is part of a coordinated effort to achieve similar results in Broward County. Last year, Operation Sacred Trust served nearly 1,300 homeless and at-risk veterans in Broward and Miami-Dade, providing more than $3.2 million in financial assistance for area military families. Operation Sacred Trust uniquely brings together housing, case management, legal services, and benefits specialists to help very-low income veteran families achieve housing stability.
The 2020 Point-in-Time Count reported more than 150 homeless veterans in Fort Lauderdale on a given night. That number has decreased by 60 percent since Operation Sacred Trust opened its doors to local homeless and at-risk veterans in 2011.
Seth Eisenberg, Purpose Built Families’ CEO and founder of Operation Sacred Trust, said the goal is ensuring every veteran in Broward County is able to rapidly receive emergency care that leads to permanent housing and that services are in place to help formerly homeless veterans remain successfully housed.
Dr. Lawrence said more is needed to strengthen coordinated care for America’s 19 million veterans. His visit to Fort Lauderdale will highlight Operation Sacred Trust’s unique model of compassionate, client-centered care and collaboration with VA that he says is working.
Operation Sacred Trust’s Broward County Veteran Service Center is located at 201 SE 2nd Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.
Homeless and at-risk veterans in Broward and Miami-Dade counties can reach Operation Sacred Trust at (855) SSVF-411 (855-778-3411), by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at http://www.411veterans.com.