Summer 2013

[PDF]Summer 2013 -

0 downloads 240 Views 938KB Size

Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans 119 N. West Street, Wheaton, IL 60187 • 630-871-VETS (8387) • [email protected]

Summer 2013

VA awards Shelter $444,000 grant Founded By Bob Adams & Dirk Enger

Marine LCpl. Nicholas Larson Home For Transitional Housing

MSHV to serve more Illinois homeless, at-risk veterans and families The Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans has received a $444,000 Veterans Affairs grant to serve homeless and at-risk veterans and their families in DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall and Will counties.

re-house those who have recently fallen into homelessness.

The grant is part of the VA's Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program that recently awarded nearly $300 million in grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that provide services to very-low-income veteran families living in, or transitioning to, permanent housing.

“The Midwest Shelter is honored to receive this SSVF grant award and we are excited about the opportunity to expand our services into more Illinois counties," said Pamela Kostecki, MSHV's director of operations. "This program fits with our strategic priorities of increasing our geographic presence and extending our services to veterans' families. MSHV is proud to serve more veterans who have honorably served this country and who now find themselves in need.”

The SSVF program supports VA’s efforts to prevent at-risk veterans from becoming homeless and rapidly

Thanks to the SSVF grant, MSHV will provide a range of services that promote housing stability and play a key

MSHV Golf Outing: Sunday, Aug. 25 at Klein Creek Golf Club in Winfield Army SSgt. Robert J. Miller Home For Affordable Housing

Army Captain Kevin C. Landeck Freedom Commissary

Golfers can register online at The cost, which includes 18 holes of golf and a

MSHV will also provide eligible veteran families with outreach, case management and assistance in obtaining VA and other benefits, which may include services pertaining to: health and child care, daily living, personal financial planning, transportation, housing counseling and fiduciary and legal issues. MSHV will begin accepting applications from qualified veterans for SSVF funds on Oct. 1.

MSHV introduces new program logos The Midwest Shelter has introduced a new logo that better reflects the expanding programs that MSHV now offers to serve veterans and their families. Keep an eye out for us!

Get ready to tee off for a great cause when the Midwest Shelter holds its eighth annual Golf Outing and Texas BBQ fundraiser on Sunday, Aug. 25 at Klein Creek Golf Club in Winfield. Eighteen holes of golf, in a team scramble format, begin at 1 p.m. with a shotgun start. A complete Texas BBQ buffet dinner follows golf at 6 p.m. “The MSHV golf outing raises money to help support our mission of assisting homeless and at-risk veterans and their families," said Francois LaSalle, event chairman, who also serves on the MSHV board. “Every year our goal is to combine good golf, good fun and good food in support of those who have done so much for us. We are limiting the event to 144 golfers, so we encourage our friends and supporters to register now.”

role in connecting veterans and their family members to VA services, such as mental health care and other benefits. MSHV can also offer limited temporary financial assistance on behalf of veterans for rent payments, utility payments, security deposits and moving costs.

barbeque dinner, is $500 per foursome or $125 for an individual golfer. A limited number of dinner-only reservations are available for $50. Hole sponsorships and opportunities to donate raffle items or purchase raffle tickets are also available. For additional information, please contact Pam Kostecki, MSHV director of operations, at 630-871-VETS (8387) or via email at [email protected]

Page 2 A Message From The President

The dream of a place where veterans could find help continues to grow BOARD OF DIRECTORS ROBERT ADAMS PRESIDENT






Greetings from the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans. We hope this is a wonderful summer for each of you. The dream of a place where U.S. Veterans could find the help they need continues to grow. When Dirk Enger and I founded this organization, we did not envision the magnitude of blessings that would come to MSHV, both in the number of veterans we would serve and in the variety of ways that we could serve them. Our Larson and Miller homes are thriving and as current residents get back on their feet, new residents are there to take their place. Once they are here, these veterans experience the compassion and direction of our terrific staff. There are also new projects, about which we are so excited. Among them is the Captain Kevin C. Landeck Freedom Commissary, which provides qualified veterans and their families with much-needed clothing, household goods and other necessities at no cost to them. It is with gratitude and humility that we announce that, with the gracious permission of his family, our Freedom Commissary has been named in honor of Army Captain Kevin C. Landeck. Capt. Landeck, gave his life in Baghdad, Iraq on Feb. 2, 2007, when an

improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. A graduate of Wheaton-Warrenville South High School, Capt. Landeck was 26 years old.

and like-new condition. Great thanks to Dan Finn, Sam Maggio and John Kapior for their dedication to MSHV and to veterans in general.

Another source of excitement is the $444,000 grant we received as part of the Veteran Affair’s Social Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program (see page 1). This grant will enable MSHV to serve veterans and their families who are at risk of becoming homeless and expands our geographic reach into more Illinois counties.

Finally, allow me to thank everyone who contributes to MSHV. Your support means everything to us. Please continue to help us “leave no veteran behind to homelessness, poverty or physical or mental health issues.”

I am grateful to Director of Operations Pam Kostecki and her staff for their work in securing the grant and to the VA for the faith they showed in the Midwest Shelter’s ability to serve more veterans in need and their families. We continue to benefit from smaller miracles as well, many of which you can read about elsewhere in this newsletter. I’d like to mention two of them here. Dylan Marie Lee, a 5th-grader, who for the second year in a row saved $1 per week and presented $52 to MSHV. Dylan’s patriotism and good works provide a great lesson for all of us. I also want to profoundly thank the Military Order of the Purple Heart for the donation of a vehicle to MSHV. Purple Heart, which does so much for us, put this car in top running order

We know that times change, yet we hope that the focus on the plight of veterans, which has been in the forefront of public and government concern, will not diminish. This powerful surge of goodwill towards veterans has been fueled by the understanding that we enjoy our freedoms because veterans stand “on a wall in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night” and say “you will not pass, not on my watch.” Government funding cutbacks seem inevitable, and if they happen, veterans’ programs will be among those impacted. We will need your support then, more than ever. Thank you and enjoy the rest of your summer.

Doc Adams P.S. Hope to see you at Klein Creek Golf Club on August 25th!

Loyola honors alumnus Bob Adams MSHV on parade... Midwest Shelter co-founder and board president Bob Adams was honored by Loyola University as a 2013 Damen Award recipient. Named for Loyola University Chicago's primary founder, Arnold Damen, S.J., this award is granted to an alumnus/alumna from each of Loyola's schools and colleges. It recognizes the qualities of leadership in industry, leadership in community and service to others.

The Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans proudly displays its banner in Wheaton’s 2013 Fourth of July Parade. MSHV also took part in Wheaton’s 2013 Memorial Day Parade.

Bob received his award from Loyola’s School of Social Work, where he earned his Masters in Social Work (MSW) degree in 1995. “I was honored to be amongst such a distinguished group of honorees and humbled to receive the Damen award from my alma mater, which means the world to me,” said Bob.

MSHV co-founder Robert M. Adams was honored by Loyola University as a 2013 Damen Award recipient for his work with veterans.

Summer 2013

Page 3

From A Resident’s Point Of View

“This shelter has helped me to realize what a truly meaningful helping hand can do.” As a Vietnam veteran returning home, with many things going against me, I still considered myself extremely fortunate over most of the guys in my peer group. Two weeks after leaving the Marines, I was employed as a federal civil servant and believed myself to be as invulnerable as I felt while serving my country in a war zone. Fast forward a few plus years. I got married, fathered a son, got divorced, owned and sold a consulting partnership. Not old enough to retire, I enjoyed my life consulting as much as I could, then just a couple of weeks a month while raising my son. As my son entered into his teen years, it became necessary for me to spend more time at home. I took on various full-time positions in risk management. The better of two worlds was opened for me: being a proud father and a successful business man who loved and enjoyed the work I was doing. Then my health went south. First my entire colon was removed. Then I was diagnosed with cancer. My job was downsized and I lost my home. Any one of these things blindsiding me was enough to knock my world off its axle. I found myself spinning out of control, in free fall.

accepted into the program at the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans. Suddenly, I felt my life starting to take form and a desire to keep moving in a positive direction. No longer did I feel empty. I felt renewed. I did matter and once again I had purpose.

My savings were being eaten up as each day passed without a job. My unemployment benefits were not enough and there were no employment opportunities on the horizon.

No longer did I have to move from one shelter to the next each night, not knowing whether or not I would be accepted or turned away to sleep in the streets. No longer did I have to wake up in the morning wondering if I was going to have a hot meal that day. No longer did I have to worry about not being able to bathe, or changing into a well-pressed suit, clean dress shirt, tie and polished shoes for a job interview.

Just like that, I was homeless, savings all used up and facing cancer and its treatment. This was the beginning for me of a journey into hell and every day my situation got hotter.

Since coming to MSHV, I have been able to start and finish my radiation therapy for cancer. I have had interviews for jobs and completed training to strengthen my career.

Hospitalized, I was hours from being discharged with no place to go. The next day, I received a call to let me know about an interview with Bob “Doc” Adams for housing in Wheaton on the following day.

This shelter has helped me to realize what a truly meaningful helping hand can do. Bob Adams is truly someone who has walked the walk and continues to talk the talk for veterans.

Changes to my situation began to happen. Within two days after the interview, I was

By a Current Larson Home Resident

Two new MSHV staffers make a case for helping veterans The Midwest Shelter has hired Javon Harris and Kimberly Pawl as part-time case aides to assist with serving clients at its Robert J. Miller Home, which provides veterans with affordable housing, and the Kevin C. Landeck Freedom Commissary.

of clothing and other supplies.” Both Javon and Kimberly began working at MSHV in April and have been instrumental in helping set up MSHV’s new Freedom Commissary, which provides basic necessities at no cost to qualified veterans and their families. They have helped secure donations, spread the word about the store being open and have gone far and wide to pick up donations to help our veterans.

Kimberly joins our program after graduating from Lewis University with her degree in Social Work. She is also pursuing her masters’ degree in the same field of study. Javon comes to us with a banking and customer service background. She also has experience in working with clients as a case aide. Both women are determined to help our operations director in any way that they are able. “I see large potential for growth in this organization and would love to help be a part of that expansion,” says Javon. “Being a part of something that has such promise makes me feel like I have the chance to help everybody who is a client. I understand the process of rebuilding when you need to get your life back on track. I’ll do my best to help any way I can.”

Javon Harris (left) and Kimberly Pawl have joined the Midwest Shelter as part-time case aides, serving veterans at the Robert J. Miller Home and the new Freedom Commissary. “Since beginning my work here I have enjoyed helping to solve the problem of veteran homelessness,” says Kimberly. “I also am pleased to be here as we are opening the Freedom Commissary to help those veterans who are in need

We warmly welcome Javon and Kimberly to the MSHV team and look forward to their contributions in serving our growing clientele.

Page 4

MSHV’s new Freedom Commissary: Your support is needed now Help at-risk veterans and their families obtain basic necessities Summer is a time when we come together to celebrate with friends and family and reflect on the gift of freedom we enjoy as Americans. It is also a time to remember the heroic men and women who fought to preserve those freedoms we celebrate. Summer is not a time when our thoughts ordinarily turn to gift-giving or Christmas, but the Midwest Shelter hopes to change that -- at least when it comes to our local veterans and their families who are threatened with homelessness.

We are also working to expand assistance beyond our commissary shelves by providing veterans with gift cards for other basic needs, including gasoline, groceries and items related to gaining employment. But in order to help all of the qualified veterans in our community, we need your support. We ask that you join our "Christmas in July" celebration by making a cash or gift card donation to our Freedom Commissary.


In May, we announced the expansion of our community outreach services with the opening of our Captain Kevin C. Landeck Freedom Commissary in Wheaton. The Freedom Commissary, named in honor of Army Captain Kevin C. Landeck, a 1999 graduate of Wheaton-Warrenville South High School who was killed in action in Iraq in 2007, provides atrisk veterans and their families with new and gently used necessities, including clothing, household goods, hygiene supplies and furniture.

If you are interested in making a donation, please visit the MSHV website, or use the donation envelope included in this newsletter. We encourage you to become part of our newest endeavor to ensure that no veteran is left behind due to homelessness, unemployment, poverty and/or mental suffering. Thank you for considering a donation in honor of so many who fought to preserve our freedoms.

Can’t donate cash? We can always use donations of: Clothing  Men's casual clothing  Men's suits, dress clothing  Men's shoes Personal Products  Deodorant  Soap  Shampoo/Conditioner  Shaving cream, razors

Linens (New, please!)  Blankets  Bath towel sets, bath mats  Kitchen towels/dish clothes Office Supplies  Inkjet paper  Postage stamps Kitchen Items  Sponges/scrub pads

Gift Cards  Grocery Store/Target  Prepaid Gasoline Cards  Office Depot/Office Max  Ace Hardware/Home Depot  Prepaid phone cards  Metra/PACE passes General  All-purpose cleaners  Garbage stickers

The Army always seemed to be Kevin Landeck's calling. In old Halloween photos, he was dressed as a soldier. He loved joining neighborhood kids in squirt-gun fights in the yard. As a teenager, he played paintball games with his dad. "We'd split up into groups," said his father, Richard. "He always wanted to be the leader and formulate a plan: 'Let's go capture the flag. Let's go flank this way, and you guys go that way, and you guys go up the middle.' And it was always fun watching him make his plans." Landeck, 26, of Wheaton, Ill., was killed Feb. 2, 2007 in Baghdad when his vehicle struck an explosive. He was a 2004 graduate of Purdue University with a degree in sociology and was assigned to Fort Drum. He wanted to work for the FBI and knew military experience was good preparation. In high school, Landeck was a goodnatured student who kept competing in the pole vault even though he wasn't one of the top contenders, said his coach and psychology teacher, Darryl Fitts. His quiet determination is what Fitts remembers. "That spoke volumes to me, that he never stopped working," he said. USA TODAY, 2007

Summer 2013

Page 5

Murph for Miller raises $11,700 for MSHV Vet bikes 100 miles for fellow veterans

Even though they never met, two military heroes, Michael Murphy and Rob Miller, who grew up more than 850 miles from each other and were killed in almost the same location, are honored and joined by their bravery in an event established in 2008.

Vince Garramone has turned his love of bike riding into a way of bringing recognition to our homeless veterans. He was riding his bike in Wheaton when he discovered the Midwest Shelter. Vince stopped in to say hello, and was so impressed he became a volunteer.

Navy SEAL Lt. Murphy was killed in action in 2005 in Afghanistan and then received the Medal of Honor. US Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller attended Wheaton North High School. He enlisted in 2003 and was accepted into the Special Forces. On his second tour in Afghanistan, he was killed by enemy fire during an ambush near the Pakistan border on Jan. 25, 2008. He died providing cover fire, saving the lives of his U.S. Army teammates and 15 Afghanistan National Army soldiers. SSgt. Miller posthumously received the Medal of Honor in 2010. Rob's friend, Bobby Kaye, met him during their high school years in a gymnastic co-op. When he heard the news about Rob he was devastated. Kaye and another friend decided to pay tribute to SSgt. Miller and formulated the Murph Workout, a CrossFit challenge named in honor of Lt. Murphy, as a way of paying tribute to both men. Now in its sixth year, the “Murph for Miller” workout has grown from an initial 25 participants in a local garage, to 154 in a much larger facility. During previous years, the contributions were donated to the Special Operations

His desire to help and his passion for biking inspired Vince to make a one-man bike trip to create awareness and to obtain donations to help homeless veterans. MSHV Board President Bob Adams (left) receives a $11,698 check from Bobby Kaye and Tracie Reinke, representing donations from the Murph for Miller event held in May. Warrior Foundation that supports the military's special operations forces and their families through three programs including scholarships. "This year we decided what better way to honor Rob than to bring it home and benefit the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans and the Rob Miller House named in his memory," said Bobby. "I take every opportunity I can to tell Rob's story. I don't want anyone to forget him." In May, CrossFit Tri-Cities, a strength and conditioning facility, hosted the event, resulting in $11,698 in donations to MSHV’s Robert J. Miller Home.

"Last year I went 75 miles. This year I wanted to ride 100 miles in under eight hours," Vince explained. He attained this goal by completing the trip from Muskego, Wisconsin to Oswego, Illinois in seven hours and forty-six minutes. What made it even more meaningful this year was the fact that he made the trip on Flag Day. Along the way, Vince met many people who, upon hearing about his goal, contributed to the cause. He also handed out pre-paid postcards asking people to write a thank you note to a veteran. Vince is also a veteran, having served 22 years with the Combat Engineers in the Illinois Air National Guard. He currently teaches Health and Physical Education at Downers Grove South High School. His fellow teachers, students and family are supportive and proud of his accomplishments for veterans. So are we!

Dylan Marie Lee: 5th-Grader helps homeless veterans one dollar at a time Dylan Marie Lee has a mission to help people in need. She also has a love for veterans. Her dad, Buddy, served in the Florida National Guard during the Vietnam War, her grandfather Kenneth Jackson served in the Marine Corps, and her brother-in-law Larry McElvain recently retired from the Navy. So Dylan, a 5th grader at Washington Elementary School in Wheaton, put those elements together. For the last two years, Dylan has saved one dollar per week and sent a $52 check at the end of each year to the Midwest Shelter. In a letter sent with her check, she stated “I hope you will be able to buy lots of food and other supplies for the veterans… I hope this money will do a LOT of help.” As we told Dylan, donations like hers are what keep MSHV going. Her kindness, generosity and great spirit impressed all of us at the Shelter. We thank this wonderful young lady and promise to put her gift to good use.

Dylan Marie Lee, a 5th-grader at Washington Elementary School in Wheaton, poses with MSHV Board President Bob Adams. Dylan donated $52 to MSHV for the second year in a row.

Illinois Air National Guard veteran Vince Garramone celebrates the end of his 100-mile solo bike trek to raise money for homeless veterans.

Midwest Shelter For Homeless Veterans 119 N. West Street Wheaton, IL 60187

Don’t miss out! Sign up now for the MSHV Golf Outing Sunday, Aug. 25 @ Klein Creek Golf Club in Winfield

Did you know...

Purple Heart Donates Car To MSHV

… the VA projects there are 22.3 million veterans in the U.S., 10 percent of whom are female. … 15.8 million U.S. households qualify for tenant-based housing subsidies, while only 1 in 9 receive them. … In 2011, 15 percent of the 14,055 who experience homelessness each night in Illinois are veterans. … MSHV receives support from 21 Veteran Service Organizations to keep our operations running smoothly. … 52 percent of MSHV funding comes from contributions made by individual donors. We couldn’t do it without your support. … MSHV has 6 college interns learning various aspects of serving veterans this summer and fall.

Sam Maggio, Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart’s Emmett M. Casey Chapter, turns over the keys to a donated 2005 Hyundai to Pam Kostecki, MSHV’s director of operations. Joining in the presentation are chapter members and World War II veterans Louis Celli (left) and Bob Hoffman, who also served in the Korean War. The reconditioned car is being used by residents of MSHV’s Robert J. Miller Home, which provides affordable housing to qualified veterans. “The Purple Heart comes through for us time and time again,” says Pam. “It seems as though they know what we need even before we ask. We are so appreciative of what these veterans do for their fellow veterans here at the Midwest Shelter.”