Phoenix, Arizona (PRWEB) February 28, 2014
Phoenix-area veterans are reporting for duty again -- this time to serve their country at home, fighting veteran homelessness. On Saturday, March 8, more than 100 veterans and local volunteers will gather at MANA House, a nonprofit transitional living facility for homeless veterans, for an all-hands community service project to rehabilitate the center. The project is led by The Mission Continues Phoenix service platoon, a team of more than 65 local veterans who have dedicated themselves to a year-long mission of fighting chronic veteran homelessness in partnership with the AZ Coalition to End Homelessness, Arizona Department of Veterans Services and the City of Phoenix.
Joining the platoon at the MANA House service project are local volunteers and veteran members of Wounded Warrior Project and Team Red White and Blue. MANA House currently supports more than 50 local veterans with hot meals, clothing, transportation, computer access, laundry and showers, job services, and a drug-free environment. Renovations to the facility include building and furnishing new flooring, cafeteria tables, picnic tables, park benches, a new computer lab, a music therapy room and an outdoor memorial park.
"At the StandDown this year, we are announcing that we have accomplished the goal of ending chronic veteran homelessness in the city of Phoenix,” states Director Terry Araman, Madison Street Veterans Association and MANA House. "Addressing the issue of veteran homelessness requires the commitment and collaboration of many community partners. It's incredibly inspiring to see veterans from Arizona volunteering their time to help their fellow service members, by becoming a part of the solution of ending veteran homelessness.”
The Phoenix platoon is one of nine veterans’ service platoons launched in fall 2013 by The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit organization that has empowered more than 1000 veterans to serve their country in new ways. The platoons bring together teams of veterans with local organizations and volunteers to build stronger communities. Through a unique model that provides reciprocal benefit for the veteran and the local community, veterans volunteer to help others and, through their service, build new skills that help them begin their civilian career. More than 20 additional platoons will launch in cities across the country in 2014.
“Serving my community has renewed my sense of purpose and my desire to set forth and actually do something,” said Gutierrez. “Through the service platoon, veterans are able to serve again and be community leaders, inspiring everyone they encounter.”
The service project at MANA House is one of many efforts ledby the Phoenix service platoon. In early October, platoon members joined Project H3 Vets and more than more than 125 volunteers spent three days scouring the streets at 3:30 a.m. to locate and identify homeless veterans, ensuring that each was on his or her way to finding a permanent home, medical attention and rehabilitation.
“Phoenix has come a long way in providing sustainable services to support chronically homeless veterans,” said Rachel Gutierrez, The Mission Continues Phoenix Platoon Leader. “Thanks to the combined efforts of civic institutions and grassroots networks, like our platoon of veteran volunteers coming together, we’re tackling this problem head-on and making real progress.”
The Phoenix service platoon will be serving at MANA House in honor of its fallen comrade U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer and Air Warfare Specialist Chief Sean Patrick Sullivan. The service project will be followed by a dedication ceremony and celebration in his memory.