Bristol, PA – April 1, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-8th District), joined by Veteran advocates, announced local and federal efforts to end homelessness among Veterans. Rep. Murphy announced $1.2 million in federal funding for the Coatesville VA Medical Center and $100,000 for the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. Working with Dan Fraley, the Bucks County Director of Veteran Affairs, Rep. Murphy highlighted the need to reduce wait times and expand bed capacity at these centers to accommodate the needs of local homeless Veterans. The VA allocated the additional money to the facilities to provide new residential care beds to ensure they can care for all of the Veterans who come to them for help.Rep. Murphy also announced that, for the first time in the event’s history, Bucks County will host the VA’s Department of Veteran’s Affairs “Stand Down for Homeless Veterans.” The volunteer event provides homeless or at-risk Veterans with food, shelter, medical and mental health screenings, legal aid, Social Security and VA benefits counseling, and referrals for a range of other services. The first Stand Down was organized in 1988 by Vietnam Vets in California and has since expanded to become a vital tool in reaching out to homeless Veterans and their family members. Each September for the past sixteen years, a massive effort known as Philadelphia STAND DOWN has been undertaken to ease the suffering of hundreds of the greater Philadelphia area’s homeless military Veterans. With previous Philadelphia-based sites under construction, Jerry Jonas with Philadelphia STAND DOWN worked to have Bucks County host this year’s event to help thousands of Veterans and their families.
Rep. Murphy continues to be an advocate for Veteran issues back home and in Washington, where he fights to ensure that the brave men and women who serve their country are fully taken care of when they come home. Rep. Murphy recently voted to pass the End Veteran Homelessness Act of 2010, which increases funding to successful programs for homeless veterans, improves housing support services, and places additional focus on the needs of homeless women Veterans and homeless Veterans with children. He has also championed the new GI Bill of Rights, which makes it more affordable for soldiers to go back to school. And he fought tirelessly for a new Vet Center, now located at Canal’s End Office Complex in Bristol, which offers counseling and readjustment services free-of-charge to eligible veterans from any conflict and their families.
“That any American, especially those who fought for this country, should find themselves on the street without access to care is simply unacceptable,” said Congressman Patrick Murphy. “As an Army veteran, I understand that we cannot rest until all our brothers and sisters in arms are taken care of and able to get back on their feet.”
“We had a homeless veteran here in Bucks County and my office was told that there was a waiting list at Coatesville VA Medical Center, said Dan Fraley, Bucks County Director of Veteran Affairs. “I wrote a letter to Sec. Shinseki and Coatesville VA Medical Director Gary Devansky to seek some answers and solutions. Congressman Murphy’s office got involved and together we helped bring a commonsense solution in a very short period of time to meet the needs of homeless veterans.”
“The Commissioners’ invitation to hold this year’s STAND DOWN in Bucks County will prove a saving grace for our homeless veterans and their families,” said Jerry Jonas, Media and Public Information Chairman, for Philadelphia STAND DOWN. “Congressman Patrick Murphy’s continuing support for this event shows the deep commitment he has in meeting the needs of our veterans.”
# # #For Immediate Release, April 1, 2010
Contact: Sara Schaumburg, (202) 225-4276