Honolulu Mayor’s Office, 8th TSC partner to help homeless veterans

| August 14, 2015 | 0 Comments
Photo courtesy of 8th Theater Sustaimnent Command Public Affairs   Sgt. 1st Class Nicole Howell, 8th TSC Public Affairs Operations noncommissioned officer, talks with a homeless veteran on Aug. 5.

Photo courtesy of 8th Theater Sustaimnent Command Public Affairs
Sgt. 1st Class Nicole Howell, 8th TSC Public Affairs Operations noncommissioned officer, talks with a homeless veteran on Aug. 5.

 

8th Theater Sustainment Command
News Release

 

HONOLULU — The office of the mayor of Honolulu partnered with the 8th Theater Sustainment Command to share information with local homeless veterans about the 2015 Veterans Stand Down at Beretania Community Park, Aug. 6.

The standdown is part of the “Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness” initiative, announced by First Lady Michelle Obama, challenging the mayors of major cities to provide services and supplies, such as food, shelter, clothing, medical, dental and benefits counseling, to homeless veterans, with the hope of getting them off of the streets.

Volunteers from the 8th TSC combed the streets of Honolulu in four areas known for their dense population of homeless veterans, Aug. 5.

“It makes my heart sad that so many vets are lost or forgotten,” said Master Sgt. Luther Hobbs, Plans and Operations noncommissioned officer in charge, 8th TSC. “It is my obligation to ensure that my past and present service members are afforded the opportunity to live a sustainable life.”

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, approximately 22.5 million individuals within the U.S. homeless population were veterans in 2014 — approximately one in 10 homeless adults.

“We are hoping the Soldiers who come out in uniform attract the veterans because of the military connection,” said Schoen Safotu, the main volunteer coordinator for the standdown.

Representatives Honolulu Mayor’s Office of Housing, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Labor were present to provide assistance for veterans seeking help, said Safotu.

The biggest challenge the 11 Soldier volunteers faced was communicating with veterans who didn’t want assistance or who had lost faith in the government.

“We need to do this on a bigger scale,” said Hobbs. “We can find the veterans, but they need to want help in order for this to be effective.”

Safotu addressed the Soldiers.

“Thank you for coming out to help the veterans in Honolulu. We really appreciate it,” he said, addressing the volunteers after three and a half hours searching out homeless vets. “We hope that we can get them the assistance they need, because no veteran should be homeless in his own country.”

 

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