3rd Annual “Heroes In The Shadows” San Gabriel Valley Homeless Veterans Stand Down

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Third Annual “Heroes In The Shadows” San Gabriel Valley Homeless Veterans Stand Down, Begins April 4, 2014 In South El Monte at the Whittier Narrows Recreational Area

Three day event presented by the San Gabriel Valley Veterans Employment Committee and the Vet Hunters Project aims to combat Homelessness by providing on-site assistance, services and resources to those in need.

March 27, 2014, Commerce, CA – For the third year, The San Gabriel Valley Veterans Employment Committee (SGV|VEC) with the leadership of Vet Hunters Project, will present its Annual “Heroes in the Shadows” San Gabriel Valley Homeless Stand Down.
Attendees may pre-register online as well as at several partner locations throughout the San Gabriel Valley. Walk-up registration opens on Friday, April 4 at 8:00AM and continues until noon on Sunday. On-site dental, medical, vision, legal & counseling services will be available as well as accommodations for (sleeping quarters, showers, laundry facilities, food, entertainment, personal grooming/wellness), as well as transportation to and from the site.

This year’s opening ceremony takes place on Friday, April 4 at 10:00am and features US Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano CA-32nd District and City of El Monte Councilman Juventino “J” Gomez as the keynote speakers. Numerous dignitaries representing the State of California, Los Angeles County and various other Federal Agencies, will also be in attendance. The general public is welcome to attend the Opening Ceremony or visit the Stand Down to volunteer.

Unique in its ability to not turn anyone away based on criteria such as area of residence, gender, and Veteran Status, the 2012 Stand Down attracted close to 400 residents including Veterans, Active/Reserve/Guard Service Members, and civilians ranging from 19 to 82 years old. Unlike other similar Stand Down events throughout Southern California that rely on government grants to fund their operations (which could limit the types of services and populations served); “Heroes In The Shadows” is made possible through personal and organizational donations and sponsorships.

Working to combat Veteran Homelessness by utilizing this “No Red Tape” method, with little to no government grants, is a long list of valued partners. In addition to Congresswoman Napolitano and Councilman Gomez, key partners include the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Whittier Narrows Recreational Area, Vet Hunters Project, State of California Employment Development Department, US Army Reserve 155th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, US Dept. of Veterans Affairs and the many community partners that operate in the San Gabriel Valley as well as Southern California. A complete list of sponsors, partners and donors may be found at www.sgvvec.org.

Note:
According to the 2013 Homeless Count conducted by LAHSA, Los Angeles County alone has over 57,000 Homeless Individuals, which was a 15% increase since 2011. Of that over 8,000 (14%) were identifies as Homeless Veterans, the largest in the Country. In the San Gabriel Valley, there are an estimated 4,444 Homeless Individuals and 12% identified as Veterans. One of the subpopulations amongst Veterans that we are seeing a sharp rise in is of recently released Veterans.

About San Gabriel Valley Veterans Employment Committee (SGV|VEC):
The San Gabriel Valley Veterans Employment Committee (www.sgvvec.org) is an all-volunteer organization that works in partnership with various federal and state agencies, employers, training institutions and nonprofit organizations. Its purpose is to serve as an employment-focused “network” for Veterans, their Spouses and Children, as well as to organize events geared toward connecting Veteran jobseekers to employment opportunities and social support service providers.
More information about the San Gabriel Valley Homeless Veteran Stand Down can be found at http://standdown.sgvvec.org, donations are still being accepted and can be given online at http://bit.ly/SGVSD-Donation

Contact:
Apolonio E. Muñoz III
SGV|VEC, Public Relations Officer
C: 818.280.6060 | VM: 818.856.1236
info@sgvvec.org

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To download a pdf version of this Press Release, Click Here.

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San Gabriel Valley Veterans Employment Committee Elects New Board of Directors for 2014-2016 Term – Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE REALEASE

San Gabriel Valley Veterans Employment Committee Elects New Board of Directors for 2014-2016 Term.

New Board of Directors to begin Term of Office on January 1, 2014 with former US Army Sergeant turned Veteran Advocate at the helm.

Commerce, CA, December 3, 2013, The San Gabriel Valley Veterans Employment Committee (SGV|VEC) at its Membership Meeting on November 21, 2013 at the East LA Vet Center in Commerce, CA held the election of Officers for the Board of Directors.

The SGV|VEC holds its elections every odd numbered year for the Board of Directors, who will lead the SGV|VEC in the next two years. The SGV|VEC is a collaboration of the State of California Employment Development Department, local employers, local service providers, and local members of the community, who pull together resources to assist Veterans and their Families of the San Gabriel Valley, find gainful employment and eliminate barriers to employment such as homelessness, and service related disables.

The 2014-2016 Board of Directors are as follows:

  • Chair – SGT Joe Leal (US Army Bosnia/OIF Veteran), Founder / President of the Vet Hunters Project (www.vethunters.org)
  • 1st Vice–Chair – Jose Gonzalez (USMC OEF/OIF Veteran), Educational Consultant with New Horizons Career Learning Center – Burbank (http://www.nhsocal.com) 
  • 2nd Vice–Chair – Martin Barragan, VA Certifying Official at Bassett Adult School (http://www.bassettadultschool.com)  
  • Secretary – Adrian Lazaro, Veterans Employment Representative with CA Employment Development Department 
  • Treasurer – Ivana Lopeztiana, Junior at Cal State LA, Member of Rehabilitation Counseling Association 
  • Community Partners Liaison – Mayra Galicia, Case Manager with Verdugo Jobs Center (http://www.verdugojobscenter.org)  
  • Public Relations Officer – Apolonio E. Muñoz III (US Army OIF Veteran), National Secretary/Greater LA Chapter President with American Veterans for Equal Rights (www.aver.us)

Joe Leal the newly elected Chair of the SGV|VEC is a US Army Veteran who served in Bosnia and Iraq and has dedicated his adult life to helping his fellow Service Members, Veterans and their Families. In 2010, Mr. Leal founded the Vet Hunters Project (VHP), a nonprofit organization headquartered in El Monte that is dedicated to preventing and ending homelessness among Veterans and their Families. VHP provides veterans with necessities such as food, clothing, funds and blankets. It also provides housing for the forgotten Veterans and their Families, either in a home to call their own or in a fellow Veteran’s home. VHP is a search and rescue operation – a team of volunteer Veterans search for homeless veterans on the streets, under bridges, alleys, riverbeds and abandoned buildings. VHP also facilities an annual bike ride across the country raising awareness and funds for homeless Veterans and their Families throughout the United States. In 2013 the bike ride covered 2,700-miles from Los Angeles, CA to Washington D.C. VHP’s grass roots efforts have provided housing and prevented homelessness to more than 1,200 Veterans and their Families. When Mr. Leal is not out on the streets of Los Angeles, seeking out the Homeless Veterans; you can find him at the South El Monte US Army Reserve Center where he currently works as the Soldier and Family Readiness Officer with the 155th CSSB.

The SGV|VEC is truly honored to have a true American Hero take the reigns as it continues its mission of fighting for the rights of Veterans and their Families in the San Gabriel Valley. In the 2014-2016 Term of Office, Mr. Leal along with the rest of the Board of Directors will be working closely with the local community, as well as local, state and federal agencies to make sure the needs and barriers of today’s Veterans especially those that are being released from Active/Reserve Service here in Southern California are receiving the resources, and benefits they deserve. Mr. Leal pledges to be there to guide the SGV|VEC to be a proactive “VetWork” working for the betterment of today’s Veterans and Service Members.

About San Gabriel Valley Veterans Employment Committee (SGV|VEC): The San Gabriel Valley Veterans Employment Committee (www.sgvvec.org) is an all-volunteer organization that works in partnership with various federal and state agencies, employers, training institutions and nonprofit entities. Its purpose is to serve as an employment-focused “network” for Veterans, their Spouses and Children, as well as to organize events geared toward connecting Veteran jobseekers to employment opportunities and social support service providers.

Contact:
Apolonio E. Muñoz III
Public Relations Officer
C: 818.280.6060
info@sgvvec.org

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