RIVERSIDE – Riverside County supervisors today authorized a one- year extension of a program aimed at helping homeless military veterans get off the streets and land a job — or at least in a position to take advantage of other resources that may
improve their lives.
”We started this program with the goal of putting a roof over the heads of homeless veterans,” said Supervisor Jeff Stone, who introduced the Veterans Assistance Leadership of Riverside County program in March 2013, when the county identified upward of 300 homeless military veterans.
”We recently did a point-in-time census and found another 290 vets on the streets,” Stone said. ”Supervisor (John) Tavaglione and I want to extend the VALOR program with the hope that in the next 100 days, we can duplicate what we did last year and get a roof over these veterans’ heads and get them the services they should have. It’s shameful that the federal government would allow anyone who has served this country to remain homeless.”
VALOR had been slated to sunset at the end of this month. The initiative has led to the expansion of existing county programs and the addition of others intended to provide support for vets, in the form of job training and placement, drug rehabilitation and other efforts toward social normalization.
Under VALOR, a ”no veterans left behind policy” was implemented using all available public and private resources. The county’s Office of Veterans Services has been a key player, as has as the VALOR Committee, composed of various Executive Office managers who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Last year, the program enabled dozens of dispossessed vets to find temporary and long-term housing.