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Klobuchar, Franken, McCollum Announce $420,000 For Homeless Minnesota Vets

June 24, 2010
Press Release

Contact: Maria Reppas, (202) 225-6631 / (202) 527-0149

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken (D-Minn.), and Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) announce two grants totaling $420,000 to help reintegrate Minnesota's homeless veterans into the workforce. The grants are being awarded under the U.S. Department of Labor's Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.

"There isn't a waiting line when our soldiers sign up for service, and there shouldn't be one when they come home and need a job," Sen. Klobuchar said. "Our troops have valuable skills, and job training programs like these help homeless veterans transition those skills and experiences into the civilian workforce."

"No veteran should go homeless. Our soldiers are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to maintain the freedoms we cherish as Minnesotans. It's imperative that we do everything we can to ensure their smooth reentry, and that means jobs to come home to," said Sen. Franken. "This funding has the potential to get our veterans off the street and into the jobs they need and deserve."
Sen. Franken visited the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veteran's (MACV) Building 47 at the Minneapolis Veteran's Affairs campus earlier this month where he met with MACV Executive Director Kathleen Vitalis and Regional Director Jimmy Collier to discuss the organization and the plight of homeless veterans.

"Minnesota veterans and their families have endured multiple and extended deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Congresswoman McCollum. "These veterans are facing unique needs, including an increasing number of women veterans with young children who are experiencing homelessness and unemployment. This new funding will help Minnesota veterans who are in need get the assistance they deserve."

Funds were awarded to agencies that are familiar with the areas and populations to be served. The selected agencies have demonstrated that they can administer programs effectively and produce positive results. Homeless veterans may receive occupational, classroom, and on -the-job training, as well as job search and placement assistance, including follow-up services. The Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program is the only federal program that focuses exclusively on employment of veterans who are homeless.

The below agencies received funding:

• New Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, St. Paul $120,000
• 2nd Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, St. Paul , $300,000

More information on the unemployment and re-employment programs for veterans can be found on the Department of Labor's website.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum serves on the House Appropriations and Budget Committees.