In West Palm Beach Helping veterans and chronic homeless have a home and return to productive lives

[HUD SE Regional Administrator Denise Cleveland-Leggett with Veterans Affairs outreach team at Project Homeless Connect in West Palm Beach, FL]
HUD SE Regional Administrator Denise Cleveland-Leggett with Veterans Affairs outreach team at Project Homeless Connect in West Palm Beach, FL.

The Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County recently held its Project Connect, a day when all possible services are available at one location for the homeless to address their immediate needs and move forward: Haircuts, showers, medical evaluations, counseling, and, for those ready to leave the streets, referrals to get a roof over their heads.

During their April 26th day of services held in West Palm Beach, Homeless Coalition Executive Director Marilyn Munoz shared their latest pilot with HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Denise Cleveland-Leggett, who was visiting from Atlanta: Engaging the homeless in the care of the park where they sleep; this has demonstrated to be a successful tool. Eight out of ten participants continue to express their enthusiasm, diligence and pride of their earned income. The team also helped during the Homeless Connect event; they oversaw parking, gave directions to services and served as ambassadors to other homeless arriving who didn't know much about what to expect or where to start. About 125 persons were serviced during the one-day event.

During the same trip to West Palm Beach, HUD's Cleveland-Leggett also attended the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Cracker Johnson Veterans Home; a storied property recently renovated, which will be devoted to housing homeless veterans. Individual homeless will have private rooms and will share the common areas of the house. In this property future residents will start with a decorated and furnished home, with all the items donated by the nonprofit Joint Mission. They also will have a lead resident, Bobby Brooks, who moved in after an agreement with Todd Duran, owner of the house, who decided to give a hand to Mr. Brooks and other future residents for a new beginning in a cozy and welcoming home.

[At the open house and ribbon cutting ceremony of the Cracker Johnson Veterans Home, from left, Bob Cook, HUD Miami Field Office; Todd Durand, owner of the property; Denise Cleveland-Leggett, HUD SE Regional Administrator; Bobby Brooks, on-site mentor; Laurel Robinson, Executive Director, West Palm Beach Housing Authority.] [Cracker Johnson Veterans Home]
[HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Denise Cleveland-Leggett with Col. Howard C. 'Scrappy' Johnson, USAF retired, co-founder of Joint Mission, a nonprofit that helps veterans transition to a more comfortable civilian life. His organization provided all the furniture and household items for the Cracker Johnson Veterans Home.] [Some of the attendees to the Project Homeless Connect event in West Palm Beach received haircuts, some served as traffic coordinators and guides to others seeking help.]

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Content Archived: January 22, 2020