Stefano, Pittman and Senate Committees Receive Update on Veteran Homelessness in PA

Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee and Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee members heard from a veteran experiencing challenges who has benefitted from the support offered by the Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard. Seated at table: Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-21); Sen. Devlin Robinson (R-37); Nathan Silcox executive director for Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32); Sen. Stefano; Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41); Sarah Stauffer, executive director for Sen. Pittman; and Sen. Nikil Saval (D-1).

HARRISBURG – Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32), chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, and Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41), chair of the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee, hosted a joint hearing to learn about the progress made to combat veteran homelessness, as well as what improvements can still be made.

Testifiers explained that a strong collaboration between federal, state and community partners is critical to most effectively help veterans – particularly when they have circumstances that present unique challenges like being responsible for a larger family or a pet.

“Housing instability affecting the older veteran population, women veterans or veterans caring for children, and veterans who have a companion animal, need to be considered when developing plans for emergency shelter beds, transitional housing, and creating more affordable, accessible housing,” said Brig. Gen. Maureen Weigl, Deputy Adjutant General for Veterans Affairs, Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Other testifiers highlighted struggles including not having DD-214 papers for veterans, which delays being able to connect veterans with services and programs that are designated for them, and the income cutoff for those services being too low.

One example of a community program to help veterans is Veterans Place on Washington Boulevard in Pittsburgh, which provides a safe haven where veterans can continue their recovery from chronic mental illness.

“Today, we heard about the great work being done at Veterans Place on Washington Boulevard, as well as other ways groups are trying to help veterans, including tiny homes and faith-based counseling. A lot is being done for the benefit of our veterans, and it’s important to get the word out so they know about the services available to assist them in moving forward in their life,” Stefano said.

“While we heard some stories about despair, we also heard incredible stories from veterans who were struggling but got the help that we’re here to highlight today. Hearing how dedicated they are to doing the work to help others who are experiencing the same issues was truly inspirational,” Pittman said.

 

CONTACT:    Nathan Silcox, 717-787-7175 (Stefano’s office)

                         Sarah Stauffer, 717-787-8724 (Pittman’s office)

Joint public hearing on efforts to address veterans homelessness

Urban Affairs and Housing Committee and Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee

Tuesday, July 26, 2022 | 10:30 a.m. 

Veterans Place
945 Washington Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15203


AGENDA

Public hearing on veterans homelessness

SCHEDULE

10:30 am: Call to Order and Opening Remarks

  • Senator Pat Stefano, Chair – Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee
  • Senator Joe Pittman, Chair – Urban Affairs & Housing Committee
  • Senator Nikil Saval, Minority Chair – Urban Affairs & Housing Committee
  • Senator Katie Muth, Minority Chair – Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee

10:40 am: Panel #1: State & County Government Entities

11:40 am: Panel #2: Western PA Regional Entities

1:20 pm: Closing Remarks and Adjournment

Meeting to consider Senate Bills 38 and 227 – Veterans Homelessness and Housing

Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness & Senate Urban Affairs & Housing Committees

Joint Hearing on “Veterans Homelessness and Housing” — SB 38 and SB 227

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

Paul Peck Alumni Center, Drexel University, 3142 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA

 

AGENDA

Call to Order – Pledge of Allegiance

Chairmen Opening Remarks

*Senator Randy Vulakovich
*Senator Jay Costa
*Senator John Blake
*Senator Anthony Williams

Legislation
*SB 38Bill Summary
*SB 227Bill Summary

Testimony
*Nicholas Gilliland, Chief Division Outreach and Integration, Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
*Maura “Mo” Gillen, Deputy Executive Director, Veterans Multi-Service Center, Inc.
*William Fogarty, Director of Government Affairs, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency
*Liz Hersh, Executive Director, Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania
*Marie Nahikian, Director, Office of Supportive Housing, City of Philadelphia
*Steven Culbertson, Director of Veterans and Housing Programs, Impact Services Corporation
*Brigid Gallagher, Executive Director & Mental Health Director, Philadelphia Veterans House