Blog Archives


For our site visitors who aren’t yet following us on Twitter or Facebook – here are some highlights from the past week on social media from Veterans Matter.


…shared Leadership Toledo’s Facebook post about the upcoming Color for Camo Run/Walk to benefit homeless veterans. If you are local to Toledo, join us.

…talked about the hometown support for Veterans Matter with so many new events coming up, and invited local advocates to participate.

…gave a shoutout to Veterans Radio for their continuous support of our mission and the Silver Star Event plut on by Jordan Reses.

Thank you 2

…shared the exciting news that our friend and celebrity advocate John Mellencamp will be performing in Toledo, our hometown, on October 21.

…announced the Toledo-area Amvet Riders 222 Poker Run to raise money for Veterans Matter.

…and posted about just one great item that will be auctioned off at the upcoming Silver Star Event: a 3-day, 2-night stay at the Grand hotel on Mackinac Island.

Grand Hotel


Our hometown of Toledo has really “adopted” Veterans Matter as a community cause proudly created in Toledo which has gone national. Several organizations in our area are having events to raise money for Veterans Matter this year, and there are a lot of exciting events coming up in May to volunteer at or attend.

Silver Star Eventflyer crop

The Silver Star Event is going to be an AWESOME night organized by Jordan Reses Supply Company in Ann Arbor, MI. There will be food, drinks and items for auction.

Ken will be speaking at the event, along with Dr. Chad Audi from Detroit Rescue Mission and Cpl. “Bur” Pulliam, a formerly homeless veteran.
Get all the details here.

Cinco de Mayo at Te’kela

The Cinco de Mayo fiesta at Te’kela in Perrysburg, OH, will be raising funds for Veterans Matter and we need volunteers to help man it!

We’ll have a pepper-eating contest, selfie booth, raffles and even a pinata! Sign up to volunteer here.
Can’t volunteer? We’d still love to see you there for the festivities!

Color for CamoColor for Camo Run/Walk

Some fantastic high school students with Youth Leadership Toledo have planned the first-ever Color for Camo Run/Walk to house homeless veterans. The 2-mile run (or walk) will be held May 7 at 10 a.m. at Fossil Park in Sylvania, OH, and there’s still time to register – it only costs $20.

Please come out and support the kids supporting our veterans! Get more information here.

Ohio Springfest at the Stranahan Theater

The Stranahan in Toledo is hosting the first annual Ohio Springfest May 12-15 and they’ve asked us to work one of the beer tents, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Veterans Matter. Of course we said yes!

There’s going to be live music, a petting zoo, carnival, fireworks and more – we can’t wait! Want to volunteer with us?

33rd annual Ohio Rib Off

This one isn’t in May, but we still want to get it on your radar.

The 33rd annual Rib Off is August 18-21, with proceeds to benefit Veterans Matter. If you wish to attend and volunteer for four hours before or after you “pig out” just let us know!


[Below is a press release from Leadership Toledo]

Saturday, May 7th at 10 am

Fossil Park Trail in Sylvania

During their nine-month Youth Leadership Toledo (YLT) experience, over 50 high school sophomores discover a lot more about their community: They learn how their skills, passion, and talents can be put to use to make a difference!  Early in the program, each YLT leader chooses to join at least five classmates to design and carry out a project – something that challenges them and teaches teamwork, critical thinking, time management – all important skills. The projects are varied – often arising from brainstorming or the melding of like-minded service leaders!!

One ambitious project group this year has created the Color for Camo Walk/Run to support the mission of Veterans Matter. The mission of this outstanding organization, which raises money to house homeless veterans across the country, inspired the leaders to step off the sidelines to raise both awareness and funds for those who have also stepped off the sidelines to protect our freedom. Members of the project group include: Katie Karban (St. Ursula), Libby Stupica (Notre Dame), Michael Theis (St. Johns), Luke Kilcourse (Northview), Jake Mossing (Northview), Alexa Bader (Southview), and Abbey Miller (Emmanuel Christian).

The registration fee for those wishing to support the youth and veterans is $20! The May 7th event will begin at 10 am at Fossil Park Trail in Sylvania, Ohio. The Color for Camo Walk/Run will be two-miles of fun including color stations throughout, where volunteers will be throwing colored powder at runners.

Register here for the event.

Color for Camo


Jordan Reses first got involved with our mission a year ago. The company and its employees have since donated $200,000 to house veterans and veteran families in Michigan, and the nation.

But that wasn’t enough. They did not do the least they can do; they are all doing the most they can do. Heart, head and soul are going into housing our nation’s homeless heroes.

In addition to the corporate and employee donations, the employees decided to host a Silver Star Event fundraiser May 14 in Ann Arbor to raise funds to house more Michigan veterans. Along with a silent auction, Veterans Matter founder Ken Leslie, Detroit Rescue Mission CEO Dr. Chad Audi, and “Bur” Pulliam, one of the veterans housed by the program, are scheduled to speak at the event.

The Silver Star Event will be a fun night featuring food, drinks and incredible items up for auction. Some of the highlights include a two-night stay at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, a football autographed by Peyton Manning, and a guitar signed by the Starman himself, David Bowie (see the full list of live auction items below).

Tickets are just a $25 donation for this event, which is being sponsored by Philips Respironics and RemZzzs, and of course all proceeds will be for Operation Michigan and will go straight to landlords as the deposits for veterans waiting to get off the streets and into their own homes.

And it’s not too late to become a sponsor!

We can’t wait for this exciting night! Will you join us? Even if you can’t, maybe buy a couple tickets to support the cause? You can get more information and buy your tickets here.

The Silver Star Event will be Saturday, May 14 from 6-9 p.m. at Father Gabriel Richard High School: 4333 Whitehall Drive, Ann Arbor, MI.

Listen to Ken and Glen Monroe of Jordan Reses talk about the Silver Star Event on the Lucy Ann Lance Show here: Part 1 and Part 2. You can also catch Glen on Veterans Radio (WAAM 1600) this Sunday, April 24 at 5 p.m.


Items to be auctioned include:

  • 8 LPGA Skybox Tickets plus tour of The Golf Channel tv trailors – donated by Volvick Championship
  • 3 Days, 2 nights, meals at Mackinac Island – donated by the Grand Hotel
  • Golf for 4, lesson w/pro & dinner for 4 – donated by Travis Pointe CC
  • 3 tickets for ND/Michigan State Football at Notre Dame and 2 night HGI hotel stay – donated by University of Notre Dame& Hilton
  • 2 Tickets to the 2016, NASCAR Truck Series Race “Careers for Veterans 200” including 2 weekend Pit & Paddock Passes Aug 26-28 – donated by Michigan International Speedway
  • Tour of the Big House for 10 people – donated by U of M Athletics
  • Bowling party for 12 (includes food/Bev) – donated by Revel and Roll
  • 18-hole round of golf x4 with cart – donated by Stonebridge Golf Club
  • Men’s Bulova Watch – donated by Lewis Jewelers
  • David Bowie signed guitar – donated by Hard Rock
  • Justin Verlander signed baseball – donated by Nichole Maffucci
  • Folds of Honor autographed flag – donated by Bob McCann
  • Autographed Football – donated by Peyton Manning

For our site visitors who aren’t yet following us on Twitter or Facebook – here are some highlights from the past week on social media from Veterans Matter.


…shared this story of Cpl. Robert “Bur” Pulliam, RT, a veteran we’ve been privileged to know and help.


…posted a picture of Charlie Daniels (of the Charlie Daniels Band), which he signed for us. Mr. Daniels was kind enough to meet with us and offered meet-n-greet passes for two veterans.

Charlie Daniels

…celebrated Gold Star Wives Day with a special shout-out to our own Gold Star Wife, Veronica, who is always working to help veterans in memory of her late husband, Army Sgt. Arthur Mora, Jr.


…shared this article about how the Gary Sinise Foundation is providing two amputee veterans in Georgia with their own smart homes.

…posted the latest number of veterans housed to date – 1,036!

…and announced the Color for Camo Run/Walk, organized by Youth Leadership Toledo. This event looks like loads of fun!

Color for Camo


Are you a parent? If you are, you probably know what it feels like to want to give your children the world. But what if you couldn’t even give them a roof over their head?

When we think of homeless veterans, we’re more likely to think perhaps of an older man who is “down on his luck,” sleeping under bridges or in shelters. But the truth is many veterans who end up homeless are parents. And when they lose their home, so do their children.

kids ad 3

To date, we’ve housed 1,025 veterans, but we’ve also housed 148 spouses and 414 children.

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, a study by the Government Accountability Office found that more than 60% of organizations with Grant and Per Diem (GPD) programs, which help transition homeless veterans into independent living, did not have sufficient resources to provide housing for the veterans’ children. The GPD programs that did provide housing often had restrictions such as the number of children or their ages.

Without those resources, veterans with families have even fewer options. It’s heartbreaking to imagine children curled up next to their parents as they sleep in their car, or being separated from their parents by Child Protective Services.

These families need their own homes.

But they face many of the same challenges as single homeless veterans. Once they work with a caseworker to find HUD-VASH housing, they still have to come up with the security deposit and first month’s rent.

HUD-VASH Caseworker Cory Glasgow told us about an OEF/OIF/OND veteran with a spouse and four children who were in this exact situation. They planned to stay with family until they could save up the deposit, but there were issues that resulted in them having to leave immediately. They hadn’t been able to save any money yet, and the two shelters in the area had no room for them.

“I was going to refer the veteran to our local agency for assistance but after talking to him realized he was going to have to get additional documents that he didn’t need for Section 8 but would need for the local agency,” Glasgow explained.

The veteran was discouraged that his family would have to live in their car until he could get his birth certificate and three months of bank statements.

“A referral was made to Veterans Matter instead and the veteran was able to get the deposit assistance in less than a day (well, the landlord got the confirmation email, which they took as proof of payment). The veteran was thrilled and subsequently found a job a couple of weeks later and is now several steps closer to supporting his family, which is his treatment goal,” Glasgow said.

Thanks to advocates like you who believe veterans and their families should never have to sleep in their cars, the family was able to get into a place of their own right away.

This is just one story. It accounts for just four of the 414 children of veterans we’ve housed to date.

But there are thousands more homeless veterans out there who want desperately to be able to support their families – but first they need a roof over their heads. We have the ability to prevent them from staying even one more night in their car or shelter. We want your help. You can become an advocate for them by clicking here and see what you can do, whether it is the least you can do, or the most you can do.

Veterans’ Kids Matter too, we take care of our own.


For our site visitors who aren’t yet following us on Twitter or Facebook – here are some highlights from the past week on social media from Veterans Matter.


…said a big thank you to Mitch Albom and SAY Detroit for raising $10,000 to help #GetVetsHoused.

Albom check

Albom check 2

…announced the Inaugural Silver Star Event, which will be this May. The fundraiser will be hosted by Jordan Reses Supply Company and we’re still accepting sponsors!

…presented our friend Shawn Dowling from the VA with a War Bond in celebration of housing 1,000 veterans. Shawn has been involved with Veterans Matter since its inception.

Shawn and Ken

We also enjoyed some cookies she brought in!


…shared this article about the “One Nation Under God” breakfast hosted by the Exchange Club of Naperville. Ken was the keynote speaker!

…received a beautiful custom-made gift from our friend Emily at Carruth Studio, in honor of housing 1,000 veterans.

…updated the numbers: We’ve now housed 1,019 veterans across the country. Thank YOU!

…and we shared this heartwarming story about a New York community coming together to house a local homeless veteran.



For our site visitors who aren’t yet following us on Twitter or Facebook – here are some highlights from the past week on social media from Veterans Matter.


celebrated female veterans on International Women’s Day.

…thanked best-selling author Mitch Albom for supporting our mission to #GetVetsHoused, including providing the start-up funds for Operation Michigan.

…shared this sweet message on a check we received.















…gave a shout-out to the Erie-Niagara Sunrise Exchange Club, which raised over $4,000 for homeless veterans at their 11/11@7 rally.

…and loved this story about veterans being housed in New York City and other areas:



We couldn’t be more excited for this announcement:

On Leap Day, we housed our 1,000th veteran!


Veterans Matter was created to house 35 veterans in the Toledo area and has grown into a national movement – but our 1,000th vet happened to be from Toledo, as well.

We haven’t met the local Army veteran yet but he signed his lease Monday! He will also receive a $100 gift card to The Andersons, where he can pick up some groceries or bath towels or whatever he needs for his new place.

We are honored to have had the chance to help 1,000 of our nation’s heroes into their own homes, and we’re beyond grateful to all of you for your help. Simply put: We wouldn’t be able to house a single veteran without you.

So what’s next?

We’ve got a lot in store for this year! Now that we’ve housed 1,000 veterans, we’re going to start introducing you to some of them and to a few other key players in the Veterans Matter world. We’re calling it “1,000 Stories That Need to Be Told.” Watch for the first one coming soon!

We can’t give away too much, but we’re working to get a couple more big names in music to join our cause which could mean the opportunity for you to meet them!

But most importantly: We’ve still got 47,000 veterans to house! As excited as we are to have hit this milestone, we know we still have a long way to go until our mission is accomplished.

Thank you for helping us take care of our own.


For our site visitors who aren’t yet following us on Twitter or Facebook – here are some highlights from the past week on social media from Veterans Matter.


…celebrated Presidents’ Day by sharing a quiz of presidential veterans trivia.

…explained exactly how we put donations to good use in this blog post.

…shared this thank you letter to veterans from a student:


…wished rapper, actor, Army veteran and supporter of Veterans Matter Ice-T happy birthday.

…retweeted the VA when they announced the “Veteran of the Day.”

…and shared the news that Connecticut has effectively ended veteran homelessness!