John Mellencamp kicks off our campaign putting us right on the front page!
John Mellencamp kicks off our campaign putting us right on the front page!
Sitting down? Cumulus Media has adopted Veterans Matter and our 60,000 Soldiers Housed campaign and has begun a nationwide PSA blitz in stations in 100 plus markets from 11/1 to 11/11.
PSA’s and videos from John Mellencamp, Dusty Hill, and Kix Brooks will be encouraging people to help us help our veterans.
That is huge. We have already been contacted by a national association looking for a way to help our veterans. We have lift off.
Thank you Cumulus Media and their network of stations.
Jean Mollmann of Seattle, WA, a media consultant in the music industry, heard about Veterans Matter through one of our key volunteers, Phil Runyan, and she wants to help take care of our own. To start, she is building a national “60,000 Soldiers Housed” radio & media campaign to house more veterans through the music industry. Her first order of business was to enlist a country music artist, so she started with icon Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn fame. Thank you Mr. Brooks for caring about our American heroes who have been abandoned on the streets of our nation. Kix Brooks takes care of our own. Here is a quick video from his first radio spot.
John Mellencamp just gives a shit about those on the streets — all of those lost at the dead end of life. Period. End of story.
We draw this conclusion by his behavior:
After the Windsor shoot we wrote about how the people we met were more like John’s family. It continues. Again, some of the nicest people! Cathy was so gracious and facilitating (and fun!) in helping us get all the arrangements made, as well as on site. And Tim, a short timer there, has only been with John since, well, HIGH SCHOOL! He also let us borrow his monitor for a couple hours to serve as the prompter. (What? No work for two hours?) Thank you so much Cathy and Tim.
This trip — it was about the veterans. Like most of us, John finds it unconscionable (“Pisses me off.”) that our soldiers have been abandoned and forgotten on the streets of our nation. And like us, it pisses him off enough to want to do something about it. Veterans Matter. We must take care of our own.
This is what drove us down to Bloomington; John’s desire to do something about it. In addition to the PSA’s we are working out several other ideas to best help us get more veterans housed in this nation. Stay tuned. We are almost ready to roll. John Mellencamp just gives a shit about those on the streets. Not just veterans, but all of those lost at the dead end of life. Period. End of story. John matters.
On a side note, I need to thank our 5 person volunteer crew for giving up a day to drive 5 hours down and 5 hours back. In particular, our videographer, award winning PBS/WGTE producer Dave Kuznicki. He cut short his Florida family vacation, drove 18 hours back to Toledo, packed up the production gear, and off we left for Indiana — All because Dave too just wanted to matter to veterans, and all of those on the street. Thank you Dave!
FOUR MORE veterans were housed today in Houston. This makes 51 veterans housed in the Lone Star state. 107 total nationwide. After one of the veterans was housed today we got this email. So makes it worth it, each time.
I truly want to thank you and your music industry backers. For this Social worker working with our hero’s, your organization has filled a gap of financial services that had been missing in helping our Veterans. So thank you and your backers for making my job a little easier to place our hero’s in appropriate housing as soon as possible.
Kathleen, LCSW – VASH Program
We keep getting these emails that just make us want to work harder and faster. This is about one of the veterans we helped house in Houston.
“She has been in a shelter for 4 years, since Hurricane Ike hit Galveston Island. She has mental health issues that make working and staying focused difficult but she got into a program that provides her with two meals a day, counseling and a voucher that lets her stay at the Salvation Army. She stuck with that (with a few bumps along the way) for four years. With HUD-VASH and Veterans Matter I was able to get her on my list and when a voucher opened up she was first to get one. She has no furniture but she has a place of her own, away from the areas where the old habits are; and today I’ll get her a bus pass so she can get around and really start working on getting a job and working on getting her other benefits established (she kept losing her paperwork and missing her follow-up visits with SSA). Of my caseload she has the most need, so you guys took a big load off of me and helped a good person. Thanks again and God bless you and the rest of your crew.
Miguel – HUD/VASH Case Manager
Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center”
See, it really does make us want to do more. We can, with your help.
Right now we just need to raise as much as we can to house as many veterans as we can, as fast as we can. Click the donate button up top if you can help us help them get housed.
Damn right! Veterans Matter: We Must Take Care of Our Own!
These three Case Studies demonstrate how we integrate with the local communities, foundations, and local veterans groups to house their local veterans.
Operation Hometown Funding Partners: Toledo Community Foundation’s Promedica Advocacy Fund ($26,250) and Lucas County Veterans Services Commission. ($15,000)
Started in February 2012 the pilot program initially focused in Lucas County. Due to immediate success housing veterans, the program was expanded to Northwest Ohio within 30 days. 60 days later the program was replicated out of the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center to cover the rural communities of southeast Michigan.
Veterans Matter was conceived when founder Ken Leslie learned from the local Healthcare for Homeless Veterans coordinator Shawn Dowling the only thing preventing 35 plus local veterans from getting housed were the security deposits.
That night Ken designed the Veterans Matter pilot and the next day called Barb Petee, the head of the Toledo Community Foundation’s Promedica Advocacy Fund. He not only asked Barb to fully fund the pilot at $26,250, he also asked the foundation to do the impossible for a foundation: waive the normal three month due diligence process and move at black ops speed because there were families waiting today.
Incredibly, seven days later, on Valentine’s Day at 5.36 pm Barb called with full funding, three days later the first veteran family was housed. Eleven days from conception to execution.
The pilot program initially focused in Lucas County. Due to immediate success housing veterans, the program was quickly expanded to Northwest Ohio, and then was replicated out of the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center to cover the rural communities of southeast Michigan.
This expansion was possible because the Lucas County Veterans Services Commission stepped in to add to the fund to house Lucas County veterans which freed up the Promedica funding for the desperate rural areas.
Operation Houston Funding Partners: A local consortium of business leaders convened by Dusty and Charlene (Chuck) Hill of ZZ Top, and Kevin Maley, CEO of KO Supply. ($55,000 to date.)
After demonstrated success in Ohio and Michigan, Dusty Hill of ZZ Top got wind of Veterans Matter through a conversation with Bob Merlis, an LA based music industry publicist and 1Matters board member. After visiting with Ken and several veterans housed by the program in Toledo, Dusty pledged to convene a chapter in Houston to house the Houston Veterans. Kevin Maley was recruited to join Dusty and in less than ten phone calls, this local team raised over $50,000 to match the 75 allocated Houston vouchers. The same day funding was secured two Houston veterans were approved for Housing.
Funding Partners: Give Us Your Poor, New England Center for Homeless Veterans, the Adam Ezra Group, and the American Music Project: Voices for Veterans. (Goal: $30,000)
Operation New England was started when John McGah with Give Us Your Poor learned of VM through Dr. Josh Baumberger with the US Interagency Council on Homelessness. John has connected VM to both the New England fundraising and the national “American Music Project: Voices for Veterans” concert series.
So many times we wonder what effect the money we give to organizations has on those intended to be served. Four of the one hundred plus helped by Veterans Matter tell you in their own words.
— We have our target. HUD announced allocations for 8,635 vouchers nationwide. With all of the urgency at our command we will begin working to raise funds nationally immediately.
– This week Veterans Matter signed an agreement with Give Us Your Poor to participate as a beneficiary of the proceeds of the “American Music Project: Voices for Veterans” concert series. The Voices for Veterans project will culminates next spring with a national A-List concert held in NYC. Veterans Matter, along with 100k Homes are the lead beneficiaries. Give Us Your Poor is associated with the University of Massachusetts Foundation and the National Center on Family Homelessness.
—The first of these will be the “Ramble” staged by the Adam Ezra Group in Boston on August 24th for the newly formed New England VM chapter.
—Because our pilot program demonstrated immediate success easily raising $100,000 and was replicated in three states, VM is beginning to attract national notice.
—Veterans Matter is an incredibly efficient organization managed by donated staff and all office overhead is provided in-kind by a corporate sponsor.
As many of you have heard this week the traveling Vietnam Wall is coming to Toledo. This is a great thing Toledo is doing to give the Vietnam Veterans the proper “Welcome Home”.
Not only are those visiting able to find closure from the memorial, but they can also benefit from the many services that will be provided. From job fairs to food pantries, veterans and families will have many services to make up for the loss of humanity that the Vietnam War brought them.
We are doing our own little help to set up a small project connect to help get the guests to the services they need including support from Zepf Center, Food for Thought, and Lifeline Mobile Medical. On Sunday there will be a pancake breakfast our Tent City food team will be putting on including Fellowship Matters, Cherry Street Mission, with Forrester’s on the Dock hosting.
We can use 6 more volunteers for the Project Connect (Saturday 8 am to noon) and 9 more for the breakfast on Sunday. (7 am to 11 am.) Contact us if you want to help out.
And to our Vietnam Veterans who came home to an empty house, thank you, and welcome home.
For more information on times and events follow this link: http://www.toledoveteransevent.com/#!events-/c24jx