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FAQ (Frequently asked questions about homeless Veterans)

1.  How does all this get paid for? 
It gets paid for with the money we save in VA staff, maintenance of buildings and man hours doing paperwork.  It cuts out the red tape.  Republicans should love it (saving tax dollars), while it achieves the goals of Democrats (taking care of Veterans).   Sometimes, the attitude of the VA staff and employees is that the Veterans work for them and we are at their mercy.  This attitude needs to change.
2.  Do you want to advocate for one thing at a time in order to achieve focus?   
I understand what you are saying, however...it is a national issue. If people only read the top of this, they will understand that there is a problem housing homeless veterans.  If they look a little closer, they will find that the VA is looking for what they call EU contracts (Extended Use Leases) with the Private Sector.   Basically, EU contracts will rent the old VA buildings to a Private Company in exchange for the company building a new building on the same land parcel for the VA Medical Center.  Whoever thought of this...must have their head up their ass. 
3.  In other words, getting a place for homeless vets in Lincoln.  Almost everyone can buy on to that though not everyone may be willing to buy on the rest of your ideas re: lifetime healthcare / selling VA facilities, firing all staff. 
Lifetime healthcare sounds like a hell of a benefit, huh?  In reality, in today's military, very few people complete their first tour of duty.  Even fewer complete their first tour with an "honorable" discharge.  Free health care would only be given to those who sign up for an initial 6 year commitment and complete it with an "honorable" discharge.  Right now...the Army and Marines are enticing kids with $30,000 to 50,000 dollar bonuses.  Some money could be saved by reducing those bonuses.  In reality, the ones that really need lifetime healthcare are already getting it.  Jason, for example (two purple hearts and 22 percent of his brain gone), started being "a drain" on the taxpayer the day he got blown up ( at Age 22) and he will be a drain until the day he dies.  In reality we (the taxpayers) will never be able to pay him enough!
4.  If your bottom line is homes for Vets, then I would argue for keeping the focus on that.  And the solution does not have to be just the VA buildings in Lincoln.  Very good idea, but it will take a long time to come to fruition because it involves a lot of entities with interests both financial and social in the properties (and neighbors, who, for good reason may object). 
Like I said, the VA is already wanting to lease their buildings (in other words...they want to get rid of them).  
5.  Why not foster homes?
People become foster parents because their is big money in it...not because they want to be foster parents.  No one is going to open their home for free except me.  Not to pat myself on the back, but, I am a rare case...just ask my counselors at the VA!
6.  Aren't there other more immediate solutions?
I was the immediate solution for the VA and Jason.  I have already decided that whatever Jason pays me, when he can, is good enough.  This is my gift to him and the marines and soldiers that went to fight in my place.
7.  How does Lincoln shelter its non-vet homeless? 
The VA currently has no contract with anyone in Lincoln.  Vets are simply on their own.  No agency can meet the standards they have to meet to get a VA contract.  There were two agencies in Lincoln that applied for a contract, but both were turned down because they could not meet the standards.  The City Mission applied and was turned down.  Houses of Hope applied and they were also turned down.
8.  Are there community groups that can or should be called upon to help? 
Now you sound like a Bushy.  Yes, those groups have been asked and they can be helpful.  For instance, the Son's of the Legion came by and delivered Jason a Turkey and a Ham and all the trimmings for Thanksgiving.  The women of the Order of the Purple Heart gave Jason two $20 gift cards to Russ's IGA!  These people bring tears to my eyes!
9.  Are there other facilities – not necessarily federal government – that could be used? 
Like I said...they have to meet standards and when they see all the standards they have to meet...they either do not qualify or they give up and withdraw their application.
10.  There is no doubt that the feds need to step in – and their leadership is necessary – but what about the Mayor?
I emailed the Mayor and every City Council member...who knows if they read it?  I have not heard back from any of them!
11.  This is his city to lead and what is it doing to help its homeless - esp. the vets? 
I will call his office directly.  Along with my friend...David Landis who is the head of Urban Development now.  I encourage all of you to do the same.  Here are their phone numbers and contact information:
12. (Compliment)  Let me finish by saying it looks great – it is very ambitious in all its goals – and great ideas.  But I think there needs to be an interim and a long term solution… 
Thanks, myself and my friends are trying to get a simple domiciliary opened on the Lincoln VA Medical Center Campus in an empty building that already exists.  All it needs is a staff.  People, in this building, could walk to the treatment and medical care that they need.  The City Mission is currently where a lot of these Veterans wind up along with everyone else in town.  The VA, currently, attempts to pick these people up from the Mission (with many detours because currently the Viaduct is closed for contruction) and bring them out to the VA.  In between an hour trip to the VA and an hour back to the Mission, hopefully these Vets get some of the care they need.  Usually, they die or get lost and no one worries about them any more. 
"The return from the killing fields is more than a debriefing... it is a slow ascent from hell" - James Hillman
Please do what you can to spread the message that the homeless veteran needs help.  

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