Veteran Services Advocates
The very first supporters to rally up with our mission to house homeless veterans are the Veterans Services organizations.
Veterans groups will not forget their brothers and sisters still living on the streets of our nation. Streets where they are being beaten, robbed, even killed. Yet if this happened behind enemy lines, we would be outraged.
The VSO’s will not rest until every veteran is home!
Locally, it was the Lucas County Veterans Services Commission that first rallied up to help us house more veterans. Since then, the Veterans Services Commission has helped house at least half of the 250+ veterans housed through Operation Hometown.
Since then we have gained the support of organizations such as American Legions, Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS, Vietnam Veterans groups, local and state Veterans Services Commissions and more.
For 2018 Legionnaire Bill Zornow of Legion Post 514 in Ida, MI will be working to get the word out about an initiative he created called “One for 100 Campaign“. His vision is that every Legion Post help house at least one veteran nationwide. Bill wrote the letter below. Contact us if you would like to be connected with Bill. A PDF copy you can share with your post and units can be found right here.
Dear Legion Brothers and Sisters,
My name is Bill Zornow and I am the Adjutant of the American Legion Post 514 in Ida, Michigan, and the Vice-Director of the Legion Riders of Post 514.
I have an idea! To honor the 100th anniversary of the American Legion, I would like for us to support an organization that has proven itself to support our own. Our brothers and sisters abandoned on the streets are the most neglected among us, and they truly need our help. So I propose a grass roots effort to honor our Legion’s 100th anniversary by each Post housing one veteran.
Veterans Matter is an organization that houses homeless veterans in partnership with the VA’s homeless program nationwide. Created in Toledo to house 35 local veterans, at the urging Dusty Hill of ZZ Top they expanded to Texas, then Indiana, Michigan and are now housing veterans in 18 states so far. To date, they have housed over 2000 of our own nationwide. Because they have an 8% admin rate, most of the money actually goes to help our brothers and sisters. And every dollar they deploy results in another veteran getting housed. This gives Veterans Matter a 100% success rate housing veterans in a VA LONG TERM housing program that has a documented 90% success rate keeping them housed.
I came up with this idea accidentally and proposed it at our Post Meeting. Our Riders, Auxiliary, Sons, Clubroom Committee and Post, each stepped up and said they wanted to house a veteran too. We raised $5000 in five minutes. We ask each post to just house at least one.
I know all Posts vary in size and resources, but I would like to propose an idea we call the American Legion’s “1 for 100 Campaign” – 1 Veteran housed in honor of our 100 th anniversary. Veteran to Veteran – let’s end homelessness amongst our own. If every American Legion Post in the country raises just $1,000 between now and March 2019, we could ensure that every homeless veteran in our nation finds their home. We track our progress daily on their website.
Those Posts in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana that have been presented this idea have stood up from the beginning and truly want to see it grow. To date 422 Ohio vets, 394 Michigan vets, and 218 Indiana vets have been housed by Veterans Matter. Money raised in each state goes to housing Veterans in that state first. I hope all of you will stand up with me for those still on the streets.
Our very own Preamble of our Constitution dictates to us “To consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.” Housing our own and starting the next century of American Legion with homes for all our brother, sisters, and their families is a Legacy to be cherished! Who is with me? Contact me via email below.
Adjutant, and Rider’s Vice Director, American Legion Post 514
Veterans Matter American Legion Liaison