Tag Archives: missions

Good Start – Pictures

Our Habitat LogoHere are a few of Saturday’s Pictures from the first day’s build.   These are 8 from a total of 52 taken that day.   The date is May 5th, 2007.  The location, Mableton, Cobb County, Georgia.   The sponsors and builders are Presbyterian Coalition Cobb Habitat for Humanity, a group of 10 Presbyterian Churches.   Our 21st house in Cobb. 

To get a full screen view or to download any of the pictures that follow, go to the post above, “Slide Show – Pictures” and click on the picture and then select the “all sizes” icon (magnifying glass – any size you want up to full page. 

 A Good Start

Good Start!  I’d call this a Good Start.  This first picture was taken at 8:30 AM.   There are two plates still tacked together, and work in progress on a number of others.  Look around and you will see other Habitat houses in various stages of construction.   Cobb Habitat bought the land for a subdivision of 50 homes here in Cobb County GA.    Look carefully and you may see some of the markings on the floor and on the plates.  Volunteers split the plates apart and start nailing in studs, windows, doors and T’s where marked.   Everybody has fun.

 First Wall UP

 First Wall UP!  The lady in pink is our very excited homeowner – Joi.  The first wall up is a celebration and a great photo opportunity for everyone with a camera.   The time was 9:30AM

Moving On! 

Moving ON!   The walls have been built.  The interior walls are in the foregroud and the exterior ones either up or behind the slab.   The time is 10:05 AM

 Joi  My Walls!

 MY Walls!   Joi, our happy and always smiling homeowner.

 Start OSB

First Sheet of OSB after walls are squared.   Notice all the ladies admiring the work.  They put a lot of them up after being shown how.   Time is 1:06PM just after lunch.

Ladders UP!

Ladders UP!   Joi  (pink shirt) is right up there with them, putting on blocking. Portions have been capped.  The beam pocket (front right corner) has been carved out but not re-framed.

 Jeff and Pretty Boy

 Jeff and Pretty Boy.  “Pretty Boy” Miller AKA “Nine Fingers” (in the suspenders)  talking to Jeff, our SPM.  Bob is coming up with a ball of string to help straighten a wall.   Behind them is the food tent, and a tool storage locker, behind Bob.  Further back another group is finishing up shingles on a roof. 

 Finishing UP 

 Finishing Up.  The last piece of OSB is being prepared for over the front door.  That and cleanup will finish the first day of work.  Good Job!  Good Job Everyone!   This pictures was taken at 4:33 PM.

Habitat House – Dinner on the Slab

Dinner on the Slab was just perfect.  Perfect weather, perfiect food, perfect slab – really best concrete work any of us had ever seen.  Almost polished looking.  Flat, square, and smooth.  Good freinds, homeowner, neighborhood kids, crew chief, site manager, Coalition members.  

Here are a few pictures. 

Dinner on the Slab

The Dinner Party with materials for the house stacked around.  Neighbor houses in various levels of completion.   Habitat for Humanity is building 50 homes in this neighborhood.  

 Homeowner Joi

Homeowner Joi   Just look at that smile!

Neighbor youngster

A picture no one could resist.   This youngster lives next door and we invited him and his two brothers to eat with us.  All he had to say was Mmmmmmm good!

Tonight we partied – fine wine, beer, great food, great people.  Tomorrow we build!  Tomorrow a new home for Joi will begin to take shape. 

Homeless Veterans – An Overview of the Problem

It should be obvious by now that our homeless veterans are not being served well at all.  If the homeless veterans were properly cared for by our country, the total homeless population would fall by at least one third over night.   

Homeless services would then have sufficient funding to move many of the rest of the homeless off the streets into transitional housing with services that bring them back into the working population.   It would be a dream come true.  If only our country would step up to the plate, homelessness in our country would be virtually eliminated.  If only….

Lets Summarize the Homeless Veteran Situation

750,000 total homeless count in U.S
400,000  veterans are homeless per year
200,000 veterans homeless in any one night
1/17 of our U.S. population are veterans but:
1/3 of all homeless are veterans
7688 beds funded by the VA for homeless veterans
192,312 sleeping elsewhere – shelters, grates, creekbeds, back alleys.    We have Heroes sleeping on sidewalks in every big city.

The VA says homelessness is not related to military service, but:

Veterans are 5 times more likely to be homeless than civilians

You may think that homeless veterans served poorly in military, but:

95% of homeless vets have honorable discharges

The VA claims it has the largest network of homeless assistance programs in the country, but:

VA funding is only $1.37 per homeless vet per day
VA funded beds provide for only 1 of every 26 homeless vets
VA funds only 7688 beds for 200,000 homeless veterans on any given night of the year.

The mix of homeless veterans has changed in the last 9 years
                  1997             2006
Korea            1o%               4%           
Vietnam         42%              39%
Gulf War         10%              16%

Our Korean veterans are getting old and dying out
Our Gulf War veterans are increasing rapidly
Our Vietnam veterans have the largest homeless rate by far.

Fact:  If our country stepped up to the plate and provided for our homeless veterans,  the homeless population would fall instantly by 33 percent.

To view all the Homeless Veterans Articles, Click Here

VA Allocates $1.37 per Homeless Vet per day.

Maybe an egg biscuit and water?   What kind of Hero treatment is that?   It is little wonder that the VA can only host the homeless with a Stand Down once a year.   Let’s look at the facts as provided by the Veteran’s Administration:

 (This is a two day’s ration, about $2.60)

Photo by  Carey Tilden    

The Veteran’s Administration says this about its homeless program: 

“VA is the only federal agency that provides substantial hands-on assistance directly to the homeless. It has the largest network of homeless assistance programs in the country.  More than 10,000 transitional housing units and 2,000 permanent beds case managed by VA staff are available for homeless veterans throughout the country.”

There is a back side to that in the same paragraph: 

“More than $200 million is dedicated to specialized homeless programs to assist homeless veterans, including grants and per diem payments to more than 300 public groups.”

And the VA says this on the homeless webpage:

“About one-third of the adult homeless population have served their country in the Armed Services. On any given day, as many as 200,000 veterans (male and female) are living on the streets or in shelters, and perhaps twice as many experience homelessness at some point during the course of a year. Many other veterans are considered near homeless or at risk because of their poverty, lack of support from family and friends, and dismal living conditions in cheap hotels or in overcrowded or substandard housing.”

Ok, lets see how this all adds up.   200 million funding per year, 400,000 homeless veterans per year and 200,000 homeless any one night.  That is $500 per year per homeless hero ($1.37 per day) spread across all programs including grants, per diem and 300 public groups .    

A dollar-thirty-seven a day.  No wonder the vets like being homeless so much – they are getting rich off the per diem!  Oh -wait – I forgot this isn’t 1807, it is 2007!    Hoo boy, what a rip. 

Wait… we are about to forget about the beds!  The VA’s  2005 VA CHALENG  report says 7688 beds, the VA’s PR report says 10,000 transitional (not permanent) beds and 2000 permanent beds.  So we give them the benefit of the doubt 12,000 beds. 

OK where are the other 188,000 homeless veterans going to sleep?   Oh, yeah right, down to only 16 vets per bed from the 25 using the other numbers.   Still ok for cold nights, cosy even. 

I read from several of the faith-based community providers that the VA gives them $30 a day to house a homeless veteran.   If that is the case, 200 million dollars would fund a total of 18,265 beds for a year, if no other programs used any of the money.   Still short about 181,000 beds, or else 15 vets per bed.  

But then, these are only Heroes that used to fight wars, not troops to be supported anymore.   After all, what have they done for us lately? A better question is, “what have we done for them lately?”  These men and women that served our country in time of war deserve 10,000 times better.

Our Heroes are still out there – just look in any alley and along any creek.   Forty three percent of all homeless men are veterans, virtually all overlooked by our country. 

We need to hold our heads down and cry!

Oldtimer’s Comment:  Click For All homeless veterans articles

Homeless Veterans Chart 1997-2006 Changes

INTERNATIONAL UNION OF GOSPEL MISSIONS Veteran’s Survey –  1997  and 2006  

The original survey of more than 1,200 veterans was conducted in 1997  by 58 Rescue missions around the nation.   Today I asked the AGRM if they had any updated information and Phil Rydman, Director of Communications of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions in Kansas City was kind enough to immediately send me summary data for years 1990 through 2006 which was  collected in their extensive yearly surveys.   Data on veterans was collected beginning 1997.     

NOTE from Oldtimer:  The Data is from AGRM, the charts are mine.   

Where did you serve?

  •                   1997             2006
  • Korea            1o%               4%           
  • Vietnam         42%              39%
  • Gulf War         10%              16%

 Chart 1997 vs 2006 homeless veterans

You can see that the Korean Veterans are now declining due to death and age, whereas the Gulf War veterans are increasing.   The year by year data (not shown here)  shows a sharp peak for the Korean homeless veterans in 1998 (16%) and a sharp decline beginning in 2002.    The year by year data also shows that the Gulf War homeless veterans had gradual increas to 2005, but then  a sharp jump (12% to 16%) in numbers from 2005 to 2006.

(The AGRM serves 32 million meals and provide 14 million nights of lodging each year.   What a blessing this organization is.  I thank them for collecting and sharing this data.)

These Heroes are still out there!  Support these troops too!

Oldtimer’s Comment:  Click For All homeless veterans articles

Survey of 1,200 Homeless Veterans

INTERNATIONAL UNION OF GOSPEL MISSIONS Veteran’s Survey – October, 1997 This survey of more than 1,200 veterans was conducted in late October by 58 Rescue missions around the nation

NOTE from Oldtimer:  The Data is from IUGM, the charts are mine. 

1. Which branch of the service were you in?

    Army 49%
    Navy 19%
    Marines 19%
    Air Force 12%
    Coast Guard 1%

    Homeless Vets service

2. Which of the following (if any) are true:

    I served in Korea during the Korean War 10%
    I served in Vietnam during the Vietnam Conflict 42%
    I served in the Persian Gulf region during the Gulf War 10%

    Theatre Served

3. The total number of years you spent in the armed forces:

    Less than 2 yrs 25%
    3-4 yrs 44%
    5-6 yrs 15%
    7-9 yrs 7%
    10+ yrs 9%

4. In what decade did you leave the armed forces?

    Before 1950 4%
    1950 – 1959 11%
    1960 – 1969 20%
    1970 – 1979 33%
    1980 – 1989 20%
    1990 – 1997 12%

5 What type of discharge did you receive?

    Honorable 71%
    General 17%
    Medical 7%
    Dishonorable 5%

    Discharge Type

6. You are:

    Male 96%
    Female 4%

7. You are :

    Caucasian 51%
    African-American 37%
    Hispanic 6%
    Other 6%

Notice that only a very few homeless have dishonorable discharges.   Most of our homeless veterans have honorable discharges!    These veterans do not deserve to be treated like this!

Oldtimer’s Comment:  Click For All homeless veterans articles