Amy Schwabenlender, Vice President of Community Impact for Valley of the Sun United Way, recently attended a White House summit of federal government, corporate and private foundation, and non-profit leaders engaged in the work of ending veteran homelessness.
For Amy, the discussion affirmed that the strategic initiatives already successfully employed in our community to end chronic homelessness among our veteran population, can and should be applied to end homelessness for everyone in the Valley.
The discussion stressed the uniqueness of each community’s needs, in concert with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH), and the importance of customizing local strategies and engaging the support of elected officials to fill the gaps.
Hosted by Joining Forces—a federal veterans initiative spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama—the meeting focused on three federal initiatives to address the gaps in current veteran programs and on opportunities for private funders to get involved:
Among the presenters were Matthew Doherty, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency on Homelessness, Ann Oliva, HUD Director of the Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs, Lisa Pape, Veteran Affairs National Director of Homeless Programs, and Tina Tchen, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady.
Panelist Anne Miskey with Funders Together specifically recognized Amy, Valley of the Sun United Way and Valley communities for exceptional achievements in ending homelessness.
Tchen closed the agenda with a request for every member of the audience to go back to their own communities and help to fill a gap. The framework for a plan and specific strategic initiatives are in place, she said, and communities have demonstrated the success of those initiatives.
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