NVF & U.S. VETS Lead Los Angeles Based Relief Effort for Victims of Hurricane Katrina

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Veterans affected by disaster encouraged to call toll-free helpline.

The National Veterans Foundation (NVF) and U.S. VETS, in collaboration with numerous non-profits, private companies, and community leaders, has organized a relief effort that will deliver more than 90 Palates of Food, Water, Clothing, Diapers, and Hygiene supplies to Gulf Coast residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina. These supplies will be delivered to Houston and distributed next week to evacuees at the Houston Convention Center, and at U.S. VETS – Houston.

The relief effort is a collaboration made possible by generous donations from New Directions, C.U.R.E, San Bernardino Inland Job Corps, Low & Sweet Off Price Clothing Company, Avalon Natural Products, Veterans Initiative, LAS Management, and Thunderbird Express.

"As veterans, we understand the tremendous hardship that our brothers and sisters in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama have been through," commented NVF President Shad Meshad. "From the images we have all seen, the Gulf Coast looks like a war zone. As with war veterans, it is our duty to help those affected by this disaster get back on their feet in any way that we can."

The Relief Palates will be delivered in two trucks that have been leased by the National Veterans Foundation—the first will depart Los Angeles on Friday, September 9th, with an arrival anticipated on Monday morning. The Second, will depart on Tuesday, September 13th, with arrival anticipated for Friday. The trucks will be loaded at Thunderbird Trucking in Whittier, CA, and the supplies will be delivered to the U.S. VETS – Houston facility at 4640 Main Street in Houston.

U.S. VETS - Houston is already housing a significant number of veterans from Louisiana, who are now homeless as a result of the storm. U.S. VETS also has opened its doors to any veteran displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and has made arrangements at U.S. VETS - Houston for housing New Orleans VA Medical Center staff.

"U.S. VETS is prepared to take in any veteran who is or has become homeless because of Hurricane Katrina," said Stephani Hardy, Executive Director of the organization. "All of our 10 sites around the country are ready to provide housing and assistance to the degree that we are able and for as long as the veteran needs it."

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, well over 200,000 U.S. Veterans reside in the regions affected by Hurricane Katrina. Many have lost their homes, jobs, and have been displaced by the storm and its aftermath.

The NVF is encouraging veterans who need assistance with benefits issues, housing, or who just need a friendly voice to listen and understand, to contact its National Toll-Free Helpline at 1-888-777-4443 (vetsupport@nvf.org). Veterans who have been displaced by the storm and need housing or other assistance can also call U.S. VETS at 877-527-8387 or visit http://www.usvetsinc.org.

The National Veterans Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit human service organization. The NVF operates the Nation's only Toll-Free Helpline (1-888-777-4443; vetsupport@nvf.org) offering live crisis management, information, and referral services for all veterans and their families. Since 1985, the NVF has served more than 275,000 veterans and their families--including more than 15,000 last year.

U.S. VETS, a collaboration between the non-profit United States Veterans Initiative and Cloudbreak Development, LLC, a special needs housing developer, is the largest provider of services to homeless veterans in the country with 10 sites across the United States.

Contact:    

Todd A. Stenhouse

National Veterans Foundation

(916) 455-6640

toddstenhouse@comcast.net

Geri Wilson

U.S. VETS

(626) 676-4933

gerij9@yahoo.com

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Todd A. Stenhouse
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