News / USA

    US Veterans Mark Holiday by Serving Meals to Homeless Vets

    US Veterans Mark Holiday by Serving Meals to Homeless Vetsi
    X
    November 12, 2013 11:35 PM
    A U.S. non-profit group has marked Veterans Day by bringing military veteran volunteers to a Washington church to prepare and serve meals for the homeless - many of whom are fellow veterans. VOA's Michael Lipin went to Miriam's Kitchen to see how it is helping those veterans and other homeless people get their life back on track.
    A U.S. non-profit group has marked Veterans Day by bringing acting and retired military officers to a Washington, D.C. church to prepare meals for the homeless, many of whom are fellow veterans.
     
    Seven veterans were among a group of 20 volunteers who gathered at 6:00 a.m. on Monday in the capital's Foggy Bottom neighborhood to serve breakfast to more than 100 people.
     
    Acting Coast Guard officer Clint Trocchio said he feels obligated to help.
     
    "Like many other vets, we come in today to give back to some of the other veterans who are suffering from chronic homelessness here in Washington, D.C.," Trocchio said.
     
    Non-profit group Miriam's Kitchen has been setting up meals for Washington's homeless for 30 years.
     
    Operating out of the Western Presbyterian Church, it provides services to thousands of homeless people.
     
    On a mission
     
    Former Air Force pilot Hugo Schmidt also volunteered at the kitchen to honor fellow vets who lost their homes.
     
    "I'm hoping that it will convince them there are people who care - about them. I'd just like them to know that somebody is considering their well-being," said Schmidt.
     
    Just before the meal service began, Miriam's Kitchen chef Steve Badt rallied his troops.
     
    "We have a great meal today," Badt told the volunteers. "Remember, our goal here is to end chronic homelessness. So thank you very much for coming."
     
    The menu included buttermilk pancakes with a side of fresh berry sauce, eggs with cream cheese, salmon and onions, and green salad donated by local farmers markets.
     
    The National Alliance to End Homelessness says veterans make up about 10 percent of the homeless population in the United States.
     
    The Obama administration says there were 62,000 homeless veterans in the country when it last conducted a survey, in January 2012. It says that figure represented a 17 percent decline since 2009.
     
    Miriam's Kitchen says homeless veterans tend to be on the streets longer than other homeless people, and often struggle with disabilities like mental illness.
     
    "Sometimes it's easy for them to fall through the cracks," said Badt. "And that's where Miriam's steps in. Miriam's is a home for so many homeless, vets included. It's a temporary home, and our goal is to try to give them a permanent home. It's a place where they can have dignity; it's a place where they can feel like they belong to a community."
     
    Overcoming adversity
     
    One homeless veteran who said he benefited from that community is Jeff Gilliam of Los Angeles.
     
    "I've been with Miriam's for a couple of years, and I've come a long way from being homeless now to getting my place in the next several weeks. None of it could have happened without the staff here," Gilliam said.
     
    The Navy veteran said drug and alcohol abuse contributed to the loss of his original home. Now he is clean and sober, thanks to Miriam’s and counseling services provided by the federal government.
     
    "The help is out there. It is there, and you have to be proactive, and that's where I'm coming from, more so than just resting on my laurels, so to speak," said Gilliam.
     
    President Barack Obama has set a goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015. He hopes to achieve this through offering veterans a combination of services, including health care, housing assistance, job training and education.
     
    Advocates say giving homeless people a positive start to the day with a healthy breakfast improves their prospects of eventually living independently. They say that will reduce the cost of homelessness to society as a whole.

    Michael Lipin

    Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora