Oct 3, 2022
An organization’s origin story reveals the values of its founders. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans was launched in 1990 by Vietnam-era veterans who met while attending conferences focused on expanding after-service employment opportunities. They volunteered in communities across the country, helping fellow vets to find needed resources. And they heard over and over that their peers were unable to access or afford housing and that veterans were disproportionately represented in the nation’s homeless population. Three years later NCHV opened its offices in Washington DC and has become a powerful force for ending veteran homelessness. It offers training and technical assistance to community-based housing providers who must navigate the requirements of multiple agencies and it advocates for policy reforms before Congress. Executive director Kathryn Monet points out that the most impactful solutions come from the ground, those who have experienced homelessness directly. She discovered her passion for the work while staffing the US Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs. Realizing that she has also experienced housing instability deepens her connection to the veterans she serves and strengthens her resolve to overcome this national crisis. Vital legislation is pending now.