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The Home Depot Foundation Stands with the Alliance on Ending Veteran Homelessness
November 11, 2013
Today's blog post, in honor of Veteran's Day, was written by Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation, which is partnering with the Alliance on Never Another Homeless Veteran, a two-year awareness campaign to build public support for ending veteran homelessness.
Last week, I was humbled to stand among some of the most inspiring leaders fighting to end veterans’ homelessness at the Alliance's Annual Awards Ceremony. They included:
- Leon Winston, a Vietnam Veteran who experienced homelessness and now is COO of Swords to Plowshares, which helps thousands of others who have served our country but find themselves struggling to have a place to sleep and a meal to eat.
- Susan Baker and her husband, former Secretary Of State Jim Baker, who used her compassion and determination thirty years ago to help create the National Association to End Homelessness when few even acknowledged that a problem existed.
- HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who has created a uniquely effective partnership with VA Secretary Shinseki focused squarely on ending veterans’ homelessness by 2015.
I was proud to stand beside Alliance President and CEO Nan Roman to ask all Americans to sign a statement first to recognize that there are veterans, more than 60,000 in fact, who are homeless. These veterans sacrificed of themselves for the larger community, but they've returned and we don't have a place for them. In addition to raising awareness, we also ask you to sign to commit to telling others about the problem and to being a part of the solution.
The Home Depot Foundation committed in 2011 to focus our work to ensure every veteran has a safe to call home. Since then, we have donated almost $60 million to nonprofits focused on veterans’ housing, supporting the building, rehab and repair of more than 9,200 units of veterans’ housing.
And it's no surprise that Home Depot associates are in on the action, since we have 35,000 veterans among our 300,000 associates. In fact, Veterans Day marks the end of our annual Celebration of Service campaign this year. Each year, from September 11 through Veterans Day, thousands of Home Depot Associates volunteer their time and talents to complete a blitz of more than 350 volunteer projects across the country to address veterans’ housing needs.
As our efforts continue, we are proud to say that nearly 3,000 of our associates have already signed the commitment statement. We stand with the Alliance and our many other nonprofit partners to do our part to ensure that every veteran has a safe place to call home. And we ask that you do your part too, whether by volunteering at a VA hospital or an American Legion post, giving to a nonprofit that serves veterans or writing your elected officials and asking them to sign on as well. We can each choose how to get involved, but we ask you to add your name to show you understand this problem and care about our veterans.
For more about The Home Depot Foundation’s efforts to address veterans’ housing needs, follow The Home Depot Foundation on Twitter @homedepotfdn, #TeamDepot, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/homedepotfoundation, follow us onInstagram @homedepotgives or visitwww.homedepotfoundation.org.