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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Rep. Mike Levin Leads Hearing on Veteran Homelessness with Testimony from San Diego-Area Organizations

Washington, D.C. - January 15, 2020 - (Ponder America's Homeless) -- U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) led a hearing of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity to address veteran homelessness, including testimony from Mr. Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services in Escondido, CA, and Ms. Tamera Kohler, CEO of the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless. The hearing examined access to the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program in urban, suburban, rural, and tribal communities, and worked to determine where bottlenecks exist in delivering resources in communities of all sizes.

“Today’s hearing has touched on two of the issues that are most important to me and to my district, and I would imagine to many of my colleagues as well. One is improving services for veterans; the other is reducing homelessness… I am encouraged by a lot of what I’ve heard today from you, our experts in the field, as well as from HUD and the VA. I thank all of our witnesses again, particularly, those coming from North County San Diego in our District for providing their expertise and for the outstanding work you continue to do,” said Rep. Levin.

“We’ve highlighted that while HUD-VASH is working – and we have demonstrated results that it’s working – it can be improved to work even better.. I’m very hopeful about this legislation that we passed earlier this week to expand eligibility to OTH discharges. I’m very hopeful that given the broad bipartisan support that that legislation had this week that we can have them take it up in the Senate… No one who sacrifices so much to serve our country should ever have to worry about having a place to live,” Rep. Levin added.

“Nowhere is the struggle more real than here in California as those experiencing homelessness tonight are more likely to be unsheltered than sheltered or housed,” said Ms. Kohler. “We need to return dignity to our citizens and communities, and remove the demoralizing effects homelessness has on communities that struggle to meet the needs of its most vulnerable citizens and veterans.”

“The introduction of HUD-VASH in 2008, along with additional housing-focused interventions like Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), is directly responsible for the dramatic, nearly 50% reduction in Veterans experiencing homelessness over the last decade, from 76,329 Veterans in 2010 to 37,085 in 2019, per the annual Point In Time Count,” said Mr. Anglea. “That’s the good news. The bad news is that more than 37,000 men and women who sacrificed to protect our country are still struggling in homelessness. They answered the call to service, yet their country is now failing to help them in their time of crisis. This is unacceptable. As a nation, we must do better.”

Last week, Rep. Levin hosted Vince Hall, CEO of Feeding San Diego, and Denise Hollywood, Chief Community and Programs Officer of Blue Star Families in Encinitas for an Economic Opportunity Subcommittee hearing on food insecurity among veterans.

Rep. Susie Lee Helps Advance Bipartisan Bill to Support Nevada Homeless Youth

Washington, D.C. - January 15, 2020 - (Ponder America's Homeless) -- House Committee on Education and Labor member U.S. Rep. Susie Lee (Nev.-03) joined her committee colleagues in passing through committee the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act of 2019 (H.R. 5191)—a bipartisan proposal to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act of 1974 and empower states to strengthen and expand services for young people living through homelessness.

“I can’t think of a more tragic situation than a child without a bed to sleep in,” said Rep. Lee. “Whether the cause is neglect, trauma, disability, or discrimination, especially LGBTQ+ youth, we must provide comprehensive services to help them rebuild their lives. We cannot afford to waste their futures.

“I started my career in Nevada running the state’s first comprehensive homeless crisis intervention center,” Rep. Lee continued. “I saw first-hand how important comprehensive services are to help get families and youth into permanent housing. The bill will help communities like Clark County, which has seen a 40 percent increase in unaccompanied homeless minors from 2018 to 2019. We must act now.”

BACKGROUND: In addition to reauthorizing funding for federal youth homelessness programs, the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act of 2019:

  • Puts a greater focus on trauma-informed services;
  • Prioritizes reaching vulnerable homeless youth living in the streets, including those who have experienced human trafficking; and,
  • Ensures that federal programs for homeless youth do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.

  • To read the fact sheet on the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act of 2019, click here.

    Sunday, October 27, 2019

    Celebrating My Birthday With Jesus

    Hello, World!

    Today, I went to Three Crosses Church in New Boston, where my Uncle Aubrey McRae leads the congregation in worship! It was kind've like a mini-family reunion. I got to see some cousins I haven't seen in a long time, as well as Aunts and Uncles, and my mom and Step-dad were there, too!

    My Uncle Aubrey and I have always had a long-standing tradition because our birthday is on the same day of the year, October 30. We race to see who can call each other first to say "Happy Birthday!"

    One year, my ex-husband woke me at 5 A.M. saying I had an important phone call. My Uncle Aubrey was on the phone and said, "HAHAHAHAHA! I BEAT YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" LOL

    But, when he asked about birthdays today, he said mine didn't count until next week. LOL So, I'll have to wait til next week since it isn't until Wednesday, to have him sing Happy Birthday to me at church. LOL

    After church, I decided to "step out in faith" and spend some of my money on celebrating my new job and my birthday, with Jesus. I would have taken the guys, but I couldn't afford both of them, and it wouldn't have been fair to only take one of them. So, I went to Randy Sam's Homeless Shelter and picked up Miss Wanda.

    I actually went to school with her. So, I was blessed to be able to give her my testimony and enjoy The One Buffet with her.

    I was a pig...and I talked a lot. LOL...I told her all of my testimony while we ate. I think Jesus would have wanted me to. I told her, "God gave me a story to tell, so I HAVE to!"

    She has been at the shelter for about a month. The Shelter manager said she was one of her hardest workers, and if anyone deserved a blessing like that, SHE did! And I enjoyed every minute of it!

    In the Bible, Jesus says that when you "do unto the least of these, my children, ye also do unto me!" So, I was honored to take "Jesus" to dinner with me today!

    Have a blessed day!

    (This is Wanda King. And this is what Jesus looks like today. I am out on a date with Jesus to celebrate my new job and my birthday!)

    Saturday, October 5, 2019

    God's Garage

    Former Texas Pastor Opens Free Auto Shop for Women Who Are 'Short on Money and Long on Car Troubles'
    Source: People
    September 28, 2019
    Six years ago, PC “Pastor Chris” Williams was driving home from church on a rainy night in Montgomery, Texas, when he spotted a mother and child from his congregation walking along the side of busy Highway 105. Pulling over, he offered the pair a ride and asked why they were out on such a dismal evening.

    “They told me that their car had been in the shop for months and they couldn’t afford to get it out,” Williams, 49, now living in Conroe, Texas, tells PEOPLE. “Right then, I decided that I needed to figure out a way to get my dream of opening a free garage off the ground.”


    ALSO: Check out "The Official Dirty Kid Couchsurfing Coalition" on Facebook by clicking HERE!

    Sunday, September 29, 2019

    Alabama Man Finishes Mowing Lawns for Veterans in All 50 States

    Source: wideopencountry.com

    We've all got dreams and goals, but Rodney Smith Jr., the founder of Raising Men Lawn Care Service has an especially unique and inspiring one. The Huntsville, Alabama native set out to mow lawns for veterans in all 50 states and, after months of mowing lawns, he's done it. He's helped out an American hero in every single state, serving veterans ranging from World War II to Vietnam and present day with his lawnmower in every corner of the United States.

    Even before Smith set out to mow lawns for veterans in every state, his business, Raising Men Lawn Care Service, was doing God's work. The business provides community service in the form of free lawn care for the elderly, disabled, single moms and veterans.


    Thursday, August 15, 2019

    Feeding Pets of the Homeless Week (August 11-17)

    Feeding Pets of the Homeless is the only national animal organization focused completely on feeding and providing emergency veterinary care to pets of the homeless.

    Unconditional Love – Loyalty – Companionship – Protection
    The economy is healing but the homeless situation is not. Once a person lands in homelessness it is a daily struggle to get out. With a pet it becomes more difficult. Can you help?

    Check out "Pets of the Homeless" website to find out how YOU can help!

    Click HERE