While I realize your focus will be in your home state, what are some steps you think the nation as a whole can take to address this issue? Outside of politics, how can people help the veterans who are currently homeless?
As a combat veteran and a congressional candidate, how do you plan to tackle the issue of homelessness among vets?
I lost my primary so I will not be in Congress any time soon. That being stated the homeless situation is a problem that cannot continue to be ignored. There are no easy answers. I really believe these issues are most effectively attacked at the lowest levels of intervention in society: local law enforcement, local churches and community outreach missions, local veterans' advocate groups. The VA has systemic protocols in place to assist/help homeless veterans but these programs are administered by a large bureaucratic entity and are too impersonal. Many of our homeless folks need mental health interventions and our society has moved away from institutional style interventions to where we are now: integrated solutions....I don't think the current plan is working not to say that institutionalizing everyone worked perfectly either but somewhere in between what we had then and what we have now is probably the right answer. All levels of government partnering with private sector initiatives could bring resources to bear to help solve /mitigate this problem. NO VETERAN SHOULD EVER BE LEFT homeless and abandoned. This is a hard problem that will not go away; we can do better and that starts with better leadership leading to more effective, nimble support systems.
As in any problem solving initiative I would start by going to the people closest to the problem, ask them what they need to win and problem solve. Then I would contrive solutions based on the stakeholder's input that would bring private/public resources to bear so the social workers, ministers, law enforcement etc. can get the right tools to the job effectively.KFW