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Jobs for Our Veterans

I was watching MSNBC this morning (as I do many mornings) and they kept mentioning a movement by our US Chamber of Commerce called “Hiring Our Heroes.”  So I looked it up – some really cool stuff.  You can read more by clicking HERE.

I am thankful for those companies that recognize the transferable skills our veterans have to offer.  And, there are job programs specifically designed for veterans offered by Capital One and Toyota – really neat initiatives.  Thanks to both of those companies for their dedication to our hometown heroes!

As you likely know, HCC serves a lot of veterans in our housing programs.  Our veterans have been chronically homeless and have a disability, but some can work part-time.  It’s not easy, in this economy, to find employment for them – but we have some amazing partners who work with us to help with that and other resources.

We have had a partnership with Pendery’s, a local spice company, who has utilized our veterans in their labor force during the holiday season and beyond.

We get financial support from Prudential who supports our veterans with housing and support services.  They also sponsored our annual Patriot Party, an event dedicated to raising awareness and dollar for our veteran housing programs.

Other Patriot Party sponsors included Thompson and Knight, Littler, and Pendery’s as well.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Colleen and Jason Sweet, former HCC Board members who recently moved out of the Dallas area.

Thankfully, Dallas has such a rich philanthropic community that HCC receives support for this population from various benevolent foundations, like the Baron and Blue Foundation, Communities Foundation of Texas, and – hopefully – the King Foundation (our site visit is Thursday – here’s hoping!).

What worries me about what we can offer to “our” veterans is the lack of NEW charities focused on providing financial support to this population.  Folks, we have vets returning home daily – tons of them.  While they may not be chronically homeless now like our clients are, there will certainly and unfortunately be an increase in chronically homeless veterans in the next 5 – 10 years.  The philanthropic community has got to get on board with assisting this group – we cannot forget about our veterans just because the mission has been accomplished in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a recent speech, President Barak Obama said that as our veterans return home, “…we must serve them as they have served us.”  I know there are a lot of social justice issues to focus on throughout our country…I just hope America pays attention to this one.

Yours,

Kathryn.