FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Community forum offered on veteran homelessness
BILLINGS, March 25, 2014 – Social service professionals who make a difference for local veterans in need of housing will speak at a community forum at Rocky Mountain College Thursday, April 3, entitled “Joining Forces: Addressing Veteran Homelessness and the Role of Public vs. Private Funding.”
The event at 6:30 p.m. in the Great Room of Prescott Hall, free and open to the public, is hosted and sponsored by the RMC Debate Team, Chaplain's Office, and Office of Community Service. This forum includes thoughtful dialogue, questions and answers with local experts, and refreshments.
Tammy O’Shea and Scott Powers, two local professionals addressing veteran homelessness, will speak about the professional work they do, the challenges they face, and the sources of their funding.
O’Shea, a social worker, leads the Billings Homeless Veterans Office for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Her office helps to secure housing vouchers for homeless and near-homeless veterans to help pay a portion of their rent costs, as a partnership between the federal government’s Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development.
Scott Powers directs a regional private program to provide housing stability for very low-income veterans, called Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), which operates as a program of Volunteers of America. SSVF provides housing counseling and other supportive services including temporary financial assistance.
RMC debaters Samantha Zetler and Tessa Fraser will moderate a question and answer session. “Sam and Tessa were instrumental in creating connections with community agencies and a partnership between the debate team, Chaplain's Office, and Office of Community [Service],” said RMC Chaplain Kim Woeste.
Debate team members also plan to engage the discussion of veteran homelessness, how it is currently being addressed, and public and private responsibility to provide funding. Debaters Daniel Parod, Toryn Rogers, David Fejeran, and Holly Todd will participate.