MayorsChallenge2015bMayor William D. Euille announced on Veterans Day that Alexandria, Virginia has functionally ended veteran homelessness in the city, achieving this goal by providing greater capacity to house homeless veterans than the need for veteran housing.  This milestone fulfills the goal laid out by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, and coincides with Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s announcement that Virginia has been certified as the first state in the nation to functionally end veteran homelessness statewide.

“As we celebrate Veterans Day, we are very proud that Alexandria’s community has joined forces to ensure that those who served our country with honor can continue to live with dignity,” said Mayor Euille.

The City worked with local homeless service providers, veteran services providers, the Office of Veteran Affairs and PATH Homeless Outreach to reach this goal. Most recently, City Council authorized the lease of City-owned property to nonprofit housing-provider New Hope Housing for rapid-rehousing of single men who are homeless, with preference given to veterans.

Achieving a functional end to veteran homelessness is defined by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness as identifying all veterans experiencing homelessness, providing immediate shelter to any unsheltered veteran who wants it, maintaining the capacity for all veterans to move into permanent housing, and providing a system to respond to any veteran who experiences homelessness in the future. Housing leaders stress that functionally ending veteran homelessness does not mean that no veteran is or will be homeless, since some persons experiencing homelessness choose not to accept housing and a veteran may become newly homeless at any point in the future.

Homelessness can occur suddenly and cannot always be prevented, but communities participating in the Mayors Challenge have committed to ensuring that veterans who become homeless will be quickly identified and aided.  The City’s goal is that any veteran who becomes homeless in Alexandria will move into permanent housing within an average of 90 days after connecting with the City’s community-based homeless response system.

For more information, including ways you can help homeless veterans locally and nationwide, visit this link.

Homeless vet In Need

Governor McAuliffe Announces More than 1,400 veterans housed in the past year

Today Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia has been certified by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as the first state in the nation to functionally end veteran homelessness. Speaking at a Veterans Day ceremony at the Virginia War Memorial alongside U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, Governor McAuliffe declared that Virginia has housed 1,432 homeless veterans since October 2014.

“On a day when we remember those who fought and died for our nation, I am proud to proclaim that Virginia is leading the way in the fight to end veteran homelessness,” said Governor McAuliffe. “This is an important victory in our ongoing efforts to make our Commonwealth the best place on earth for veterans to live, work and raise a family. However, we must remain committed to keeping homelessness among veterans, and, all Virginians, rare, brief and non-recurring. This successful effort will serve as the launching pad for our next goal of functionally ending chronic homelessness among all Virginians by the end of 2017.”

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Alexandria Chamber of Commerce

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The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce announced today the winners of its 2015 Salute to Veterans Awards. The program, in its inaugural year, will recognize businesses that demonstrate leadership in hiring and empowering veterans and transitioning service members, or are representative of the entrepreneurial success of a local veteran business owner.  The second portion of the program will recognize local citizens as a Distinguished Patriot.

For 2015, the Chamber has selected the following businesses for recognition:

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9/11 https://twitter.com/AlexandriaVAFD/status/642370022694891520

Under a clear azure sky, remarkably the same as it was 14 years ago, several hundred people gathered in Alexandria’s Market Square to commemorate and reflect on the date when terrorist attacks destroyed the World Trade Center and slammed into the Pentagon, killing nearly 4,000 Americans.

John D. Sims, the key organizer of the event, told the gathering, “today is an opportunity for us all to give back and to remember those who served and sacrificed on that date, and since. Each of us today is not just a witness, but also a participant, as we all were on 9-11.” A retired Army officer, Sims was the senior operations officer in the National Military Command Center on that day.

Following a request from J. R. “Bob” Wood, a retired lieutenant general and another key organizer, Sims and a group of veterans created a “flash 9-11 commemoration” that, while “veteran initiated, was city supported and citizen run, Sims said.” Also speaking were Mayor Bill Eullie,  Alexandria Fire Chief Robert Dube, former Gov. Jim Gilmore, who was in office on 9-11, and  Wood,

Several dozen members of the audience also took advantage of Sims’ invitation to come onstage and share their thoughts about 9-11 and what that day has meant to them.

Friday’s event was set in motion Thursday afternoon when Wood encouraged Sims and a group of veterans to plan an event since the City had no city-wide commemoration planned.

Sims contacted City Hall late that afternoon, where he requested that Alexandria Veterans be able to organize and conduct such an event. It was approved and supported by the City, which made Market Square available.

Sims quickly reached out to Alexandria’s American Legion Post 24, the Capitol Post, Team RWB and other veterans, as well as to the city’s Fire, Police and Sheriff’s departments, and to other organizations and individuals.

The group used Twitter, Facebook and emails to get the word out, hence Sims’s calling it a “flash” commemoration.

(Photo credit @AlexandriaVAFD on Twitter)

9/11
The Veterans of Alexandria will hold a “Flash Commemoration” honoring those who served and sacrificed on 9-11-01 and in the years since.  Because no official commemoration had been planned, the City has allowed the veterans to take charge and initiate this event to ensure that Alexandria never forgets those who have served.

9/11

(Image via ColJohnSims in Twitter)

Capitol-PostThe Capitol Post & BunkerLabs@DC are thrilled to invite you to their Summer Accelerator Series ­- four distinct frameworks of instruction designed to ignite ideas, careers, and businesses.

These events, centered around entrepreneurship and transition, business administration, growth management, and government contracting, will help you examine your career, business, and life from a new perspective. Come to one, or all, of our 15 sessions taught by DC’s leading experts from late July to the end of September. One­ on­ one sessions with the expert(s) will be available following each presentation.

Bunker LogoEach presentation runs from 9:00 ­to 11:00 AM, with individual sessions available on a first-­come, first-­serve basis with reservation from 11:00 AM­ to 4:00 PM. Space is limited, so register early.

Who: Veterans & veteran spouses, veteran owned/led businesses & non­-profits, active duty military and spouses, and defense contractors.

For more information on these presentations, visit this link.

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