Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

August 28, 2008

Attendees: NC Ira Novoselsky MA; National Housing Chairman George Weinstein NY; National Homeless Chairman Sid Singer PA; PNC Bernard Becker MA; Ray Biondo AR; Jim Friedlander ME; Jesse Gersten AZ; Larry Holman PA; PNC Bob Zweiman NJ

Staff: NED Herb Rosenbleeth; Larry Richardson; Cheryl Waldman

Subject: Housing and Homeless

  • Important to get Republican support for S.1084, Housing for Heroes Act, to create liaison between Department of Veterans Affairs and HUD to help homeless veterans
  • Bill currently has only Democratic support, and can be vetoed even if it passes the Senate
  • Bill has already passed the house
  • Housing complexes in Pittsburgh area can be models for projects in other parts of country
  • Veterans go through program at VA, live at Veterans Place in Pittsburgh for up to 2 years; have to work and pay rent
  • Complex for senior citizens and the disabled in Monroeville, PA, has 100 units with 100% occupancy
  • At least 1 in 4 homeless are veterans, and number is increasing as veterans come home from Iraq and Afghanistan
  • While there are sites to help vets get jobs as they return, many veterans need therapy before they can take a job