U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., "Military Mary," today announced $500,000 in grants for job training for homeless veterans in the New Orleans and Hammond, La., regions. The grants are being awarded under the U.S. Department of Labor's Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program and are part of $15 million aimed at providing approximately 8,600 homeless veterans nationwide with job training to help them succeed in civilian careers.
"I am so pleased to share this good news with Louisiana veterans. Our service men and women have made great sacrifices to protect us; it is unacceptable that these heroes are struggling to find jobs and are living on the streets. We must do all that we can to help them readjust and see that they have the best possible quality of life and job opportunities when they return home," Sen. Landrieu said.
The Quad Area Community Action Agency, Inc., in Hammond will receive $200,000 to serve East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Tangipahoa, Washington and St. Helena Parishes; and Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans will receive $300,000 to serve the New Orleans area. The selected organizations demonstrated that they can provide effective help to homeless veterans.
Sen. Landrieu has been a longtime advocate for military families. In May, she secured language in the FY2013 Military Construction and Veterans spending bill urging the Air Force to prioritize projects to improve quality of life efforts on and around installations, particularly those supporting major commands. This is particularly important for Barksdale Air Force Base, which has seen an influx of nearly 1,000 airmen and their families since 2008. She also secured language in the bill encouraging the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve response to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
On March 9, the Veterans Administration announced to the Louisiana Congressional Delegation that it made errors during the solicitation for offers to build the clinics, resulting in delays of a year or more. Since then, Sen. Landrieu has fiercely advocated on behalf of veterans. During a meeting on March 22 that Sen. Landrieu hosted, high-ranking VA officials committed to providing Sen. Landrieu and members of the delegation monthly status updates on the progress of the two clinics. Also in the FY2013 Military Construction and Veterans spending bill, she secured a provision requiring these monthly updates.