Posts Taged veteran-homlessness

Retired gunnery sergeant provides supportive services for veteran families through Family Endeavors

Retired from the military himself, Ken Becker now works to connect supportive services for veteran families with Family Endeavors.

|March 2, 2017|
|The Globe|

To believe in people’s capacity to grow, to heal, to change, to succeed and to affect others around them is the motto Ken Becker lives by as the outreach and intake specialist of supportive services for veteran families with Family Endeavors.

Becker, retired from the Marine Corps in December 2007 as a motor transport maintenance chief after 20 years of service. The former gunnery sergeant grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina and often reminisces about his childhood, growing up in a military community.

One of Becker’s favorite memories growing up as a military child was receiving tapes with stories from his dad, who would send them to him and his brother so they could hear his voice.

“My father retired from the Army and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. But I chose the Marines for the added challenge,” said Becker. “I enjoyed growing up in the military and the stability of it. Even if my dad was deployed we still had the military community to lean on,” said Becker. “I wanted my children to have that so that was also one of the reasons why I joined.”

Currently, Becker is responsible for conducting the initial eligibility screening of veterans who need assistance.

“I conduct outreach and networking activities in the community; such as seeking out and working with homeless veterans in shelters and in tent cities,” said Becker. “If they are eligible and wish to receive our help, I enroll them in the program. They are then assigned to a case manager who works with them while they are in the program. During their time in the program, veterans are assisted finding housing, employment, filing for benefits, registering for school, or whatever their goals might be.”

For Becker one of the most rewarding aspects of his job is running into veterans who they have helped get back on their feet. “Seeing the transformation is very fulfilling,” said Becker.

Becker credits the Marine Corps for his discipline and initiative, and chose Jacksonville to retire because this is where both of his children were born.

“We decided to stay because this is our home. I spent most of my active-duty time stationed at Camp Lejeune. This town is where my two children were born and raised,” said Becker. “My wife stayed here through my deployments and works here.”

His advice for young service members is to have a solid plan to fall back on and to set tangible goals.

“The most important step is making a plan. If you want something, find out the steps of how to get there and become something you can be proud of,” said Becker.

Family Endeavors is a national non-profit agency that provides services and practical solutions for families who have been torn by poverty and need crisis intervention.

The Veteran Services program offers homelessness prevention and stabilization services to veterans and their families. Services are provided to veteran families with very low income, veterans facing eviction and veterans who are currently homeless.


Our Jacksonville, North Carolina can be reached at (910) 459-4320.
Learn more about the services for Veteran families and counties served in North Carolina.

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City Reaches Federal Benchmark for End of Veteran Homelessness

MICHAEL MARKS

on 13 May, 2016 at 13:10

Mayor Ivy Taylor announced today that San Antonio had reached a long sought-after goal: The city had effectively ended veteran homelessness.

The benchmark doesn’t mean that there are no homeless veterans on the street though. Instead, it indicates that “the infrastructure and systems … ensure that any veteran experiencing a housing crisis in San Antonio will get the support they need to quickly obtain a permanent home,” Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, said to Taylor in a letter.

Taylor said that over 1,300 homeless veterans had been moved into permanent housing, including 123 who were chronically homeless. But she also stressed that hitting this mark represented “a milestone rather than the completion of an initiative.”

The array of people at the press conference was a visual reminder of the collaborative nature of the process. Taylor was flanked by her predecessor, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, and members of City Council. Behind them stood formerly homeless veterans, non-profit executives, members of the San Antonio Police Department’s IMPACT teams, and City of San Antonio staff.

The effort was accelerated by a $2 million grant by local financial services giant USAA. The money was used to lease homes for veterans, and hire additional navigators who help direct veterans to various services. Reducing homelessness, particularly among veterans, has been a priority for the Obama administration. Castro said that veteran homelessness fell by 36 percent nationwide between 2010 and 2015.

First Lady Michelle Obama officially challenged mayors across the nation to end veteran homelessness in their communities during the summer of 2014. San Antonio now joins Philadelphia, New Orleans and Houston as major cities to meet the objective.

Seth Jarmon, a formerly homeless veteran who’s now an outreach manager for Support Services for Veteran Families, said that the milestone felt personal to him. In addition to being homeless, Jarmon had also spent time in prison.

“I have rapport with those people, because that’s me,” Jarmon said. “I give them some food, some water, let them know that somebody cares about them.”

The City had set a deadline of ending veteran homelessness by March 31. The City submitted the paperwork to USICH by that date, and has since been going through a “negotiation” with the agency, explaining the city’s system of care.

Watch a video below of a brief interview with Shane Browning, a formerly homeless veteran who was housed in March through Family Endeavors, one of the main groups involved in the effort:

Photo and video: Michael Marks
Originally Published in the San Antonio Current

San Antonio Current Veteran Homelessness
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