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 Spotlight On Banner
Depicting Homelessness Among Veterans
Issue 1 of 8

Brian NEW HeadshotA Message from EIC's President, CEO & Co-Founder, Brian Dyak

Veterans are a source of strength and resiliency in our country, bringing to their communities strong values, leadership, teamwork, and many other skills learned during military service. Unfortunately, some Veterans face challenges that may lead to physical or emotional ailments, financial instability, and even homelessness.

But none of these challenges needs to be faced alone. Services are there for the brave individuals who sacrificed so much to serve our Nation—and we need your help to spread the word.

EIC will highlight Veteran Homelessness and related issues each month in Spotlight On e-newsletters. With support from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), we’ll share success stories, resource information, and suggestions for depicting Veterans who are homeless.

Tapping the creative power of the entertainment industry is key to rallying a sense of community around Veterans. Our depictions can reinforce that Veterans are not alone in their experiences and that help is always available. We can also educate individuals, families, and communities who want to help, but don’t know how.

We have the power to clear up misperceptions about Veterans and homelessness—and offer hope to Veterans and their families. They need to know that help is never more than a call or click away.

 In this issue...
  • A Message from Brian Dyak
  • Did you know?
  • Profile On: Dr. Susan Angell, Executive Director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Homeless Veterans Initiative
  • Suggestions for Depicting Veterans and Homelessness
 Did you know?

Veterans face a variety of risk factors that may lead them to experience homelessness, including mental and physical illness including substance-abuse conditions, lack of family support, social isolation, and financial hardship.

Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Read More!

 Resource for Veterans

The VA provides comprehensive and individualized care to Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless, no matter when or how they served. Trained, supportive professionals, many of them Veterans themselves, are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to connect Veterans with the services they need to get them back on their feet. Make the call to help a Veteran access immediate help from the VA.
Click here to learn more!

Profile On: Dr. Susan Angell
Executive Director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Homeless Veterans Initiative

Imagine if your pillow was a cold concrete slab.Angell, Bio SES[1]

It was, for too many people, I met on the night of the 2013 Washington, D.C., Point-in-Time count. With a scarf and a clipboard, I joined Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Eric K. Shinseki, VA Deputy Secretary W. Scott Gould, and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and others to conduct a census of people who were spending the night on the street in D.C. with low temperatures in the 30s. The information gathered during the annual January count helps VA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to allocate resources to the communities that need them most.

We’re on the right track. Data from last year’s count show that there’s been a 7.2 percent decline in Veteran homelessness since 2011 and a 17.2 percent decline since 2009. But our mission is not complete as long as any Veteran goes without permanent housing or worries about keeping a home. With the help of dedicated and committed VA staff, partnered with community organizations, volunteers and professionals like you, we resolve to continue our mission to end Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.

This year, VA continued to increase funding for initiatives that help Veterans and their families avoid and overcome homelessness. These programs will help us reach our goal of bringing the number of Veterans without a home to zero.

Veterans served our country, and every day we must renew our commitment to serve them. Remember that VA’s National Call Center for Homeless Veterans provides free, confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Veterans in need of immediate assistance or at imminent risk of losing their homes can Make the Call to 877-4AID-VET or chat online at Trained, supportive professionals can connect them to the VA services they’ve earned.

Veterans showcase the strength of America abroad and at home. Many who fall on hard times simply don’t know about the resources they’ve earned. Because you help reach our nation’s Veterans, as well as their families across the country, you are among our most powerful partners for reducing stigma and spreading the word about the resources that can help end Veteran homelessness. I am excited and grateful to be working with you.

Remember, we can all do something to end Veteran homelessness.

Depicting Veterans and Homelessness

When exploring the topic of Veteran homelessness in your creative work, consider these suggestions:
  • If your storyline includes Veteran characters, consider the possibility of inserting an end slate with contact information for the VA’s National Call Center for Homeless Veterans: 877-4AID-VET or
  • Think about ways to have your characters seeking out and benefiting from the resources available from local VA facilities and community centers. To find out more about these resources, visit VeteranPic
  • When possible, explore ways to combat stereotypes. For example, the dramatic arc of a Veteran who overcame homelessness and found a safe, stable home with help from support groups and mentors.
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