A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Funders Together Announces Homeless Veterans Working Group

Funders Together to End Homelessness Today Announced the Formation of a Special Working Group Focused on Veterans Homelessness.

Boston, MA (January 12, 2012) ― Funders Together to End Homelessness today announced the formation of a special working group focused on veterans homelessness. All grantmakers with an interest in the welfare of America’s veterans are invited to join.

“America has made important progress reducing homelessness among our veterans in the last year or two, but there is still much work to be done if we are to meet the goal of ending veterans homelessness by 2015,” said Tom Nurmi, chair of the new working group as well as a Funders Together board member and trustee of the William S. Abell Foundation in Washington, D.C. “Philanthropy has an important role in achieving this goal and we will be working with other key stakeholders around the country in sharing information and working together to promote best practices to end veteran homelessness.”

The purpose of the working group, which will be known as the “Funders Together Working Group on Veterans Homelessness,” is to ensure the availability of current information about veterans homelessness to the philanthropic community and to build a national network of committed funders working to end homelessness among our veterans. The group also hopes to help represent the voice of philanthropy on this important subject in various forums around the country.

In addition to Nurmi, other group members are: Bill Pitkin, director of domestic programs for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in Los Angeles, CA; Sonya Campion, co-founder and trustee of the Campion Foundation in Seattle, WA; and David Wertheimer, deputy director for Pacific Northwest initiatives for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, WA. All three sit on the board of Funders Together to End Homelessness.
According to the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, approximately 67,000 military veterans were homeless on a single night in 2011—a 12 percent decline since 2010.

Unfortunately, however, veterans are still disproportionately represented within the general homeless population. Further, there is reason to expect that homelessness among veterans may increase as troops return home from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. The federal government’s plan to end homelessness includes the goal of ending veterans homelessness by 2015 by focusing on increasing access to supportive housing, case management, and other services.

To join the Funders Together Working Group on Veterans Homelessness or obtain additional information, please contact Allison Silva, member services officer for Funders Together, at [email protected] or 617-236-2244.

Funders Together to End Homelessness is the only national network for funders working to end homelessness. Membership in Funders Together, an approved 501(c)(3), is open to all grantmakers currently engaged or interested in funding homelessness or affiliated programs. For more information on Funders Together to End Homelessness, please visit www.FundersTogether.org.

We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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