As this year kicks off, I am focusing on more of the things that bring me joy. One of those things is highlighting great people and their amazing visions. So, I wanted to present some information for those who may not otherwise know. The rate of homeless veterans has decreased significantly, nationwide over the last 3-5 years. While this is a feat, there are still thousands of homeless men, women, and children in the United States. The momentum to end the homeless veteran population was slated for 2015. Unfortunately, at the beginning of 2019, there remains a significant need. Now, I know this is a heavy lift. I have volunteered at the Point-in-Time (PIT) count. PIT is a fantastic way to gather information regarding the living conditions of any registrant that wish to participate. It gets better. Now, I love a little research (I am a little nerd), and in lieu of paying participants, they receive dental and health checks, haircuts, food, personal hygiene items, and various other resources. It is an awesome thing to see. No, I don’t have pictures. I was too busy working. Now, I am presenting this information just to provide you with an idea of how the numbers are gathered. Unfortunately, these efforts are not enough. I won’t bore you with the statistics, but I will link a site in case you’re interested in seeing the numbers.
This week, I wanted to highlight a veteran who has turned his vision into a reality. Mr. Anthony Jackson created the non-profit 501 (c) 3, The Action Jackson Foundation, in Florida. His vision includes ending homelessness for veterans, and he is putting in the work. Take a look at his site, tell a friend. If you happen to be in the Florida area, contact him and volunteer. Donations for the work he does are always needed and greatly appreciated. You can also support him by donating through smile.amazon.com.
As a veteran, I understand the myth that if you have served in the military, and you become injured, all your dreams come true. Resources must fall out of the sky for us. Um, no! I say myth because it is just that. Now, let me say this, there are many opportunities for veterans facing challenges. Consider this for a moment, as a young man or woman, you decide on a career serving your country. Let’s say 20 years old. You ship out to training, learn your specialization, and you’re off to your first assignment. Altogether, this may have taken about one year, give or take. Let’s say you’re active duty, and your unit mobilizes a couple of times. Now, we’re at about year 5, and you have done and seen quite a bit. You have seen some of the good, bad, and ugly of humanity. Even in such a short period, there is so much to process, and usually, there is not enough time. The point is, veterans experience many things during their enlistments/commands. Some of those challenges may be addressed while they are serving, and some are not realized until much later. Just imagine, like many others, working in a field you knew you would retire from and not only losing your career but being injured and limited in your ability to find new employment. Every effort to assist veterans and other homeless populations is needed. This is a heavy lift, but as they say: “Many hands make light the work.”
Keep on pushing,