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Ending Veteran Homelessness: We can, and so we must

Posted on October 03, 2014 at 2:01 PM
Author: Eric Grumdahl- MDVA Tags: Outreach, Programs

The State of Minnesota, Governor Dayton, and the Mayors of Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Rochester, Duluth, St. Cloud, Burnsville and Albert Lea have joined the Federal government and over 200 other communities across the country in committing to end Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.

Five weeks ago, I joined the team within State government charged with helping us deliver on these commitments, as Special Advisor on Ending Veteran Homelessness based at MDVA with the Minnesota Office to Prevent and End Homelessness. I come to this role after serving as Policy Director for the U. S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), the Federal agency charged with coordinating the Federal response on homelessness and working in partnership with communities across the country to prevent and end homelessness. In my previous role, I served as USICH’s liaison with the Department of Veteran Affairs and as policy lead on efforts to end homelessness among Veterans and youth. I am delighted to bring the perspectives and experiences of my time in Washington back to my home state, and to join dedicated people at MDVA, throughout government, and in nonprofit organizations and communities across the state focused on ending Veteran homelessness.



Desk of the Commissioner - October

Posted on October 03, 2014 at 1:58 PM
Tags: Commissioner, Families

Commissioner ShellitoWith fall upon us, and the elections fast approaching, we are busily getting ready for the next legislative session here in St. Paul.  Much has happened these past few months, especially receiving the federal matching dollars which enables us to complete the Minneapolis Veterans Home campus renovations.  Also, several of our senior leaders, Michael Gallucci and Reggie Worlds, have moved on. Michael has retired and has moved to Florida while Reggie has accepted a position with Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development in Mankato.  Both are doing well and are excited about the opportunities they have in their new roles. This agency values the service they provided and know they will continue to serve Veterans in all their endeavors. 


Moon Rises Over Minnesota

Posted on September 19, 2014 at 1:49 PM
Tags: Women Veterans, Veterans Service Organizations

Peggy Moon will be first woman commander of the Department; Klinkner new chaplain.

Peggy Moon, St. Joseph, was elected Department Commander of the Minnesota American Legion at the recent Department Convention in Rochester.  Commander Peggy Moon

Moon, 62, a Vietnam Era Veteran, defeated Mike Schaffer of Fulda by a vote of 491 to 278. Moon becomes the first woman commander in the state’s history.

Another contested election developed at the convention when it was determined that the Department’s constitution would not allow Department Chaplain Richard Wog to succeed himself. Wog was the only candidate for the position.



Veterans’ Voices Award Ceremony

Posted on September 19, 2014 at 1:25 PM
Tags: Events, Legislation, Commissioner

Minnesotans from across the state recently nominated Veterans for making outstanding contributions to their communities. These actively engaged former and current military service members are recognized for going above and beyond to make exceptional, positive contributions that improve the lives of people across Minnesota.

From a host of nominees, 10 “Legacy” Veterans—a new 2014 award category— and 20 “On the Rise” Veterans received honors at the Minnesota Humanities Center's Veterans' Voices Award Ceremony on September 11, 2014. Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, Larry Shellito, briefly addressed the awardees and their guests at the ceremony.

Veteran Voices Ceremony Awardees


HUD, VA, and USICH Announce 33% Drop in Veteran Homelessness Since 2010

Posted on August 28, 2014 at 7:26 AM
Tags: General

From the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) today released a new national estimate of Veteran homelessness in the United States. Data collected during the annual Point-in-Time Count conducted in January 2014 shows there were 49,933 homeless Veterans in America, a decline of 33 percent (or 24,837 people) since 2010. This includes a nearly 40 percent drop in the number of Veterans sleeping on the street.



Veterans - Talk With Legislators, be the Speaker of the House and Voice your Opinion

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 9:55 AM
Tags: Events, Legislation

From the Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services

Fairgoers are invited to meet and greet legislators and weigh in on hot political topics during their visit to the House of Representatives booth at the state fair.

Take a “selfie,” a “twofie” or a formal portrait to post on social media as you grab the gavel and stand behind a replica of the House speaker’s desk. Complete with flags and the Abraham Lincoln portrait, the display gives you a feel for what it is like to stand in this position of power. Be sure to find out the fascinating history behind the portrait.



Vettes for Vets

Posted on August 18, 2014 at 2:40 PM
Tags: Minneapolis Veterans Home, Events, Minnesota Veterans Homes

Vettes for Vets visited the Minneapolis Veterans Homes Sunday, August 17.

Vette



Desk of the Commissioner - August

Posted on August 08, 2014 at 8:47 AM
Tags: Commissioner

Commissioner ShellitoFor this month’s article I have decided to take a more serious tone as to the role we all played in caring for our Veterans. First of all, I congratulate the Veterans Service Organizations for successful conferences and their continuing work in caring for Veterans. In some cases, the attendance was lighter than desired, but the leadership ensured the organization continued going in the right direction.

I am extremely proud to play a small part in making Minnesota a better place for all Veterans.  And, as always, I am especially grateful to the auxiliaries for their work.  I have always considered them to be the rock upon which many organizations are built.

When talking about leadership, I often use the analogy of a book that I have read. The title of the book was “The Red Badge of Courage.” The story was about a young man during the Civil War.  During a battle he became frightened and ran.  In doing so, he fell hitting his head on a rock which caused it to bleed.  As the story goes he got connected to another unit and when they saw the blood stained bandage on his head they assumed he had been in battle.   Since they were fearful, they looked to him as a leader.  The story builds on how others trust in him helped him to overcome his fears and move on to be the leader they had envisioned.  



New Program Offers Free Hotel Accommodations for Military Veterans Searching for Jobs in Minnesota

Posted on August 06, 2014 at 9:48 AM
Author: Jacob Franklin - MDVA Tags: Programs, Employment

On July 8 Hilton Hotels in Minnesota joined three other states in a new program that provides accommodations to Veterans searching for jobs outside of their residential area. Hilton Worldwide and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) have partnered with the state of Minnesota to assist military Veterans with finding fulfilling jobs. The HHonors Military program was designed to give back to military service personnel through providing HHonors points to eligible transitioning service members, Veterans, and military spouses. By becoming a HHonors Military member, Veterans will receive a 100,000 point donation to their account. These points can be redeemed to support travel expenses related to job-search activities.



New Measures to Honor Our Veterans

Posted on August 06, 2014 at 9:47 AM
Tags: Legislation

As another legislation session comes to a close, several new measures to honor our Veterans have been achieved.  On July 16, Governor Dayton invited the public to a ceremonial signing of a new bill passed in the last session to fund construction of a Hmong-Lao Veterans Memorial in the Capitol Area. The memorial will honor all Hmong-Lao Veterans of the war in Laos who were allied with the American forces during the Vietnam War. State leaders designed $450,000 to complete the design and construction of the new memorial. This appropriation is only available after at least $90,000 has been committed to the project from non-state sources.

HmongLaoPhoto



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