Nearly 650 veterans attended the District of Columbia Housing Authority’s Veterans Appreciation Day – more than 60 are in the pipeline to be housed within 30 days.

The core mission of the day is to help those veterans who are housed, stay in housing, and for those in need of a home to find one, said DCHA Executive Director Adrianne Todman.

In addition, DCHA and its federal, local, and community partners offered an array of services to the veterans to help them feel good, look good, and lead healthier lives, Todman said.

“We did this day to honor your service that you have done for this country,” Todman.

Both the federal and District government are fully committed to ending veteran homelessness, said Ann Marie Oliva, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs. She called veteran homelessness “a discredit to this country.”

“We need to build a system that helps any veteran finding themselves in a housing crisis,” Olivia said.

She continued, “I urge you not just to keep going [with the work you do for veterans], but to push harder. We need to push harder.”

Ward 1 Council member Brianne Nadeau said the D.C. City Council has allocated $23 million towards homelessness and another $13 million for housing services.

“I go to work every day thinking of how we can improve services for our community,” Nadeau said.

The veterans then heard from Patricia Richardson and Andre Thomas, two U.S. Army veterans who received housing assistance from DCHA and have taken steps towards self-sufficiency. Both are about to close on their new homes.

Some veterans were able to visit new units, while others applied for a housing voucher. Several interviewed for jobs and many took advantage of the in-house barbershop. 

Last modified: 11/10/2015 5:07:41 PM