Using a Holiday for Action

Images of memorial wreathes placed at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC

Photo courtesy of user alanenglish via flickr.

Emily Button, Washington program director for the United States Veterans Initiative spends her days trying to help homeless vets back into housing.  

“Seeing veterans everyday who are homeless is very difficult,” she said. “It’s the highlight of my life when I do my job effectively and am able to put people in housing permanently.”  

Button is convinced that housing is a essential component in rebuilding veterans’ lives.  

“Housing is the corner stone in making sure they get stable jobs,” said Button.  

On November 11, The United States Veterans Initiative and another nonprofit, A Wider Circle will team up for a special Veterans Day project. They will be furnishing four, two-bedroom units of permanent supportive housing for eight formerly homeless and disabled veterans.  

The US Veterans Initiative has the goal of helping military veterans and their families with provision of housing, counseling, career development and comprehensive support. The organization says it has helped 19,000 at risk veterans in some way. Getting an accurate idea of the size of the homeless population is notoriously difficult, and estimates of homeless veterans vary widely. The United States Veterans Initiative believes that more than 1,400 veterans are homeless in Washington, D.C. a far larger estimate than that provided by the annual homeless enumeration conducted by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.  

“We do a veterans day event every year, but this year we decided to actually make the action our event,” said Button.  

With the generous donation of new bed sets from Mattress Discounters, and logistical help from A Wider Circle, which has helped to furnish 7,159 home since 2002, eight veterans will be able to move into the Washington View housing complex and begin getting their lives back on track.  

“We are so grateful to A Wider Circle and all of our partners in this project for creating a special move- in day for the veterans,” said Button.  

For information on how to volunteer email [email protected]. 

Issues |Housing|Veterans

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We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.