Private and Government Efforts Help Provide Homes For Veterans

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    Marine Corp Sgt. Corey Bowen served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. While on active duty, Bowen suffered multiple severe spine and hip injuries. As he continued to recover from these injuries, his wife, Detrese, was forced to leave her job to manage his medical care, leaving the family in difficult financial straits.

    Thanks to support from national non-profit organization Operation Homefront, however, Bowen is learning new job skills, and the family is now “back on track.”

    Now, Eckrich Food’s military family support program “Operation Inspiration” and Operation Homefront have teamed up to help move the Bowen family to Georgia from California to be closer to their extended family support system.

    The first step was to provide the Bowens and their four children with a new home and furnishings in Lawrenceville.

    This week national Television Meteorologist Al Roker was on hand to surprise the family at the new house. The event was filmed for inclusion in an upcoming half-hour special “Operation Inspiration” that will air on, WXIA, on June 29th at 7:30pm.

    Eckrich is partnering with Operation Homefront for the second consecutive year and is donating 5 cents from the purchase of each specially marked Eckrich package from May 1st through July 4th, up to $250,000, to Operation Homefront to support military families.

    The federal government, actively involved in the effort to assure that the words “homeless” and “veteran” are rarely used together in a sentence in the U.S., has announced a new program.

    Approximately 280 homeless veterans living on the streets and in shelters in Georgia will soon find a permanent place to call home. U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced today that HUD will provide $60 million to local public housing agencies across the country to provide permanent supportive housing to homeless veterans, many of whom are living with chronic disabling conditions. Georgia will receive nearly $1,994,934 to assist its homeless veterans.

    The housing assistance which was announced this week is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA. Since 2008, a total of 48,385 vouchers have been awarded and 42,557 formerly homeless veterans are currently in homes because of HUD-VASH.

    “Our veterans have answered the call of duty. That’s why our nation has its own duty – to help homeless servicemen and women rejoin the very communities they have given so much to protect,” said Donovan. “These grants make it possible to help more veterans obtain housing, bringing us steps closer to our goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015.”

    (Photo: Injured Marine Corps Sgt. Corey Bowen and his family are the recipients of a new home in Lawrenceville as a result of efforts by Eckrich Foods “Operation Inspiration” and non-profit “Operation Homefront.”)

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