After 20 years in the Army, former First Sgt. Eddie Miller was in and out of addiction, homeless on the streets of Miami. Another day, another year, those weren’t expectations Miller could take for granted when he arrived with nearly 50 other homeless veterans for the Operation Sacred Trust orientation in 2012.
Fifteen homeless Veteran families will have a chance to move into permanent housing at next weekend’s Miami Homeless Veterans Stand Down thanks to an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Like Norman Cooper III, Every Homeless Veteran Has a Name, Story and Dreams that Can Still Come True
Before he knew it, Norman Cooper III, a decorated Army Veteran, had lost it all. His career, money, marriage, and the family to which he’d long been devoted were gone in what must have seemed like a blurry nightmare as he became one of 100,000 homeless Veterans in America. Two years later, he’s reclaimed his life and dreams that have not been forgotten.
Ending homelessness for Veterans is not just about housing – healthy, stable relationships matter too
Ending homeless for America’s veterans is not just about stable, affordable housing. Evidence-based skills training for creating and sustaining healthy, lasting relationships with family members, neighbors and co-workers is also vital to their long-term success.
From the Trenches of South Florida, Cedric Halyard is Ending Homelessness for America’s Veteran Families
Cedric Halyard, Director of Veteran Outreach for Operation Sacred Trust, overcame homelessness and addictions after returning from deployment in Operation Desert Storm. His personal experience has helped him help more than 1,000 other Veterans and their family members who are homeless or at risk of homelessness rebuild the foundation of their lives.
“More than one Veteran has talked about having it all one day and then finding himself living on the streets, a car, storage unit, bus stop, train station or abandoned building the next, having lost everything,” says Miguel Marquez, Outreach Specialist for Operation Sacred Trust.
After four years of Army service, including deployment to the Middle East, Gabby Cornett saw the lasting impact on her brother firsthand. His struggles inspire her daily commitment to help South Florida Veterans reconnect with themselves, loved ones, and access the resources they’ve earned.
With a husband who is a Veteran and stepson currently deployed to Afghanistan, Denise Martino can relate to the unique needs of Veteran families. As Intake Specialist for Operation Sacred Trust, she’s often the first point of contact for struggling South Florida Veterans who reach out with the hope of ending homelessness.
Juan Garcia lived through his mother’s struggles as a single-parent while his father was serving in the Korean War. While his father returned home emotionally and physically sick, he “was a great father” who made it possible for Juan to go to college and earn his degree. Today, as a Family Support Specialist with Operation Sacred Trust, Juan Garcia is helping hundreds of South Florida homeless and at-risk Veterans learn to strengthen connections with family, friends and social supports and obtain stable, affordable housing as the foundation to rebuilding their lives.
Clifford Johnson shares his experience overcoming years of homelessness and addictions to serve at-risk and homeless Veterans through weekly resiliency classes in South Florida. Together with the team at Operation Sacred Trust, he’s helped end homelessness for hundreds of Veteran families.
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
The Daily Temperature Reading helps teams stay motivated and maintain high levels of customer satisfaction. Communities for formerly homeless adults are using the Daily Temperature Reading to strengthen relationships among neighbors.
The Veterans Administration’s $50 million Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) grant aims at funding innovative approaches and replicable best practices to alleviate and prevent homelessness among very low-income veterans. While nearly 131,000 veterans are today homeless on any given night, new strategies offer hope for the future.
President Obama told America’s servicemen and women today, “we’re going to keep your family strong and secure.” A two year study of 160 couples participating in marriage enrichment retreats following combat deployment shows a significant, positive impact on family resiliency and offers a promising national model.
Ted Williams, the homeless man with the golden voice and father of nine, got the support he needed this week to become the answer to his own prayers. Nearly three million other Americans, including thousands of veterans, will also experience homelessness this year.