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Addressing the Growing Need to House America’s Veterans


John I. Pray, Jr., Brig. Gen. (ret.)

President & CEO, Operation Homefront

When you think about veteran homelessness, what comes to mind? The Department of Veterans Affairs projects there will be over four million post-9/11 vets by 2018. That’s a large number, but we must not lose sight that each veteran is an individual who requires a tailored path and, often, some level of outside assistance to help them transition back into their civilian communities.

Joining the cause  

The good news is, Americans care deeply about our veteran community.  The question then becomes — how can I help?

At Operation Homefront, we work with this very special group daily, and are able, with the help of like-minded individuals, corporations and foundations, to provide a range of impactful programs to ensure that short-term needs don’t turn into long-term struggles that force a veteran and his or her family to miss the opportunity to thrive in the communities — our communities — they have worked so hard to protect.

Creating shelter

Knowing that a safe and secure place to call home is a priority, we have several programs that focus on the home aspect of a service member’s transition. I am proud to say we have provided rent-free, temporary housing to nearly 500 families, saving them nearly $5 million in rent and utilities; placed nearly 600 military families into mortgage-free homes, providing them more than $48 million in home equity; and provided nearly $20 million in grants to pay rent, mortgage and home repairs bills that have helped thousands of families make ends meet.

The housing challenges our military families face requires specific expertise, so we formed a Veterans Financial Services Advisory Council, comprised of prominent banking and mortgage industry leaders, to leverage their support in a broader national effort to build strong, stable and secure military families.

Our military families have given us their very best in our nation’s time of need, and all Americans should remain committed to doing our very best to help them in their time of need. 

John I. Pray, Jr., Brig. Gen. (ret.), President & CEO, Operation Homefront, [email protected]

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