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July News – Black Ops, Baby!

Blog/July 24, 2013

There is so much going on that we have not had time to post and update you…

Remarkable amount of progress:

  • Referrals from the Houston VA are continuing. Since 12/3 we have now housed 11 veteran families – 11 adults and 7 children.
  • Dusty and Chuck Hill are convening the formative meeting of the Houston Veterans Matter board on February 5th.  This is the group that is going to raise the remaining $100k.
  • Helping Dusty is this incredible guy named Kevin Maley, CEO of KO Supply. He is a sheer force of compassion himself and is bringing an incredible amount resources together to help not only Houston, but our national effort as well.
  • One of those assets is his personal assistant, Sheri Henderson who was temporarily donated to us to help on the admin side. She was re-working our referral form and she suggested we revisit the idea of  an online referral system. Son of a gun, with the help of the Toledo (Dena & Shawn) and Houston (Geri) VASH managers we figured a way to address the privacy issue making the creation of a national online referral system allowable under VA guidelines.
  • Then steps in Main Sequence Technologies. Last Tuesday, the 15th, we contacted the owners and software gurus Marty and Mike Snyder who have been Ken’s day job (CEO of a headhunting firm since 1994) recruiting software vendor since helping them to define and launch their product back in 1996. Their system is a global online ASP/cloud-based contact management software. We wondered if they would/could help us re-purpose and customize their software to our precise needs, for free, and oh yah, at black-ops speed. Of course they said “hell yes,” and we estimated it would take 2 – 4 weeks. They committed one of  their finest, Andrew Rothman, to help us. Did we say black-ops?  Starting 2/15. by FRIDAY 2/18 he had a working demo model which we paced over the weekend. Revisions and aesthetics happened 2/21 an it was released the same day.  Seven days. This whole thing is black ops, baby.
  • Meanwhile, on the other side of town, through this cool guy in Washington named Dr. Josh Bamberger with USICH, this cool lady named Anne Miskey, executive director for Funders Together to End Homelessness contacted us. Funders Together coordinates 70 or so local and national foundations to impact the unhoused. This is a group that actually does stuff, rather than more studies, plans, etc. They had been doing this work already in the same space we are, so they called to see if there were ways we can coordinate. We spent the better part of an afternoon on the phone and identified numerous, pretty powerful synergies. She is now going to her board (a pretty impressive lot) and other resources to see if she can help raise some operations funds so we can launch this missile from pilot to national program. Given the resources, national scale could be deployed in less than 1 week. Black Ops, baby!
  • Anne is also sitting on a steering committee for a group staging a national concert to benefit unhoused veterans. She had the organizer, John McGah, give me a call last Friday. Again, great guy. He has been doing work with the unhoused for a very long time as well. We chatted for an hour and we are certain we have a great fit as far as mission and goals. Stay tuned, their could be a national rock concert helping us make the point, “Veterans Matter – We MUST take care of our own!” Black ops, Baby!
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