NOV. 14, 2016 - WHITE HOUSE SUMMIT ON VETERAN HOMELESSNESS
(photo courtesy of WH.gov)
Thursday, January 12, 2017
At a White House ceremony on November 14, 2016, seated in front of Michelle Obama was a woman who not long ago was living from couch-to-couch, sometimes spending nights in her Toyota Venza.
Remembering what she once heard in an orientation class during her active duty days, Veteran Monique Beck, reached out to the VA for help. She was referred to VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System’s Housing & Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH). This national program aims to provide necessary education, resources and counseling services to homeless Veterans, or those in danger of becoming homeless.
Though this program, Ms. Beck attended the “Hire MI Vet” hiring event in Ann Arbor where soon after, she was hired by Michigan Ability Partners as a Job Developer where she finds jobs for other Vets. She also completed her Bachelors degree in Vocational Rehabilitation. Ms. Beck was chosen by the White House to attend the White House Summit on Homelessness as part of the President’s “Mayors Challenge to End Homelessness.” According to WhiteHouse.gov, the goal is to bring together partnerships and secure resources to end homelessness across the country.
The organizers of the summit came to know about Ms. Beck after VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System’s Healthcare for Homeless Veterans program manager, Shawn Dowling, submitted her name. With a success story like Ms. Beck’s, the White House invited her to participate in a panel of other formerly homeless Veterans. “When I got the call from the White House I actually fell silent and stopped breathing for a second and the person form the White House was like, ‘Hello?’” Ms. Beck laughed, “I was so nervous!”
She had some advice to pass along to other Veterans who may feel like their problems are too big. “If you get discouraged, you just haven’t met the right person. Keep asking questions until you get the answers you need,” she said.
Ms. Beck is currently working for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Peer Support Specialist at the Toledo Community-Based Outpatient Clinic.
ABOUT THE VA ANN ARBOR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
Since 1953, the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, including the VA Ann Arbor Medical Center, the VA Toledo Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), the VA Flint CBOC, and the VA Jackson CBOC, as well as the VA Center for Clinical Management Research, an HSR&D Center of Excellence, has provided state-of-the-art healthcare services to the men and women who have proudly served our nation. More than 67,000 Veterans living in a 19-county area of Michigan and Northwest Ohio utilized VAAAHS in fiscal year 2016.