Taking it to the Streets...
Since 1991, KNMF has conducted 98 Major Personal Care Day's "Stand Downs" with audiences of 200 to 1,200 homeless veteran and other homeless participants attending these events. Beginning in 2004, KNMF added a Job Fair and College Trade School Fair to the Veterans Day event and plans to add this element to other events during the year. All Veterans are invited to participate at the Job Fair and College/Trade School Fair.
Read about our successful November 13, 2004 event below...
STAND DOWN AND JOB/COLLEGE/TRADE SCHOOL FAIR
Federal, State, local government, private sector, employers from throughout Los Angeles County joined colleges and trade schools to recruit homeless veterans and veterans looking for new careers. They were also in the company of homeless service providers (government and non-profit) who were providing medical/dental, legal, entitlement benefits, and veteran transitional housing providers recruiting homeless veterans for placement in transitional housing continuum of care programs that provide housing and that would continue the services the veterans received at the Personal Care Day Stand Down.
The Office of Personnel Management, representing all Federal employers paved the way for veterans to apply for Federal careers. The Employers and Colleges found the combination Stand Down and Job/College & Trade School Fair unique and enlightening as they learned that many of the homeless veterans and those in continuum of care programs had both qualifying education and experience making them job ready. Many of the veterans who were employed rounded out the event by applying for new careers or lateral careers to open their employment horizons. Being able to apply online also simplified the employment process for everyone involved.
Employed and homeless veterans walked away from the event delighted to be enrolled in Trade Schools, some offering paid training and jobs at completion while others walked away ready to start new jobs with the private sector and had action plans to submit applications for jobs with career ladder potential in government or industry. While enjoying his meal from In-N-Out Burger at the event, a job-ready, homeless veteran, talking to the Army National Guard representative Sgt. Wiley and KNMFs Executive Director, Doris Nickelson, said he started his new job on Monday and enrolled in a Trade School that will commence in February 2005. He said his current job cleaning cars at a top international car dealer wasn't meeting his budgetary needs to get off the street today is a good day for me and other veterans! Sgt. Wiley informed Doris that he was astounded to see so many veterans living on the street. He was glad to be a part of the event to help his brothers and sisters in need.
This event was unique, never been done before! Personal Care Days Stand Downs are designed to take the homeless veteran off the street and into a safe haven where their basic needs are met. Food, clothing, blankets, hygiene supplies, medical and dental care, legal, State and Federal services and entitlements, State Employment Development services, and placement in Veteran Transitional Housing Programs (for KNMFs events these facilities include Beacon House, New Directions, and USAVETS). KNMF provides all these services and more at events held since 1991. KNMFs events also include representatives from Veteran Organizations, VVAF, AMVETS, and others including the National Next of Kin Registry who help veterans with personal and social issues that only these types of organizations can provide. KNMF also opens its door to other homeless and needy persons. In the last few years, KNMF found that many of the veterans helped through Personal Care Days Stand Downs were interested in being provided an opportunity for immediate employment. The VA Ambulatory Care Center services all veterans from throughout Los Angeles and this KNMF/U. S. VA joint event attracts these veterans as well, many of who are not homeless. Additionally, formerly homeless veterans in continuum of care programs have been asking KNMF in the past few years, for assistance finding jobs that have career advancement UCLA Medical Center and REI helped KNMF to fill this void over the last few years, but not all candidates are interested in employment in the medical field.
The new KNMF Stand Down and Job Fair/Trade School/College Fair has filled the void providing a broad range of employers and colleges offering opportunities in all fields of employment. KNMF will continue to conduct the event regularly and employers may register to participate for the March 19, 2005 event by contacting KNMF at www.knmf.org. Go to Upcoming Events; click: For More Information Click Here button : March 19 Job Fair and College/Trade School Fair for a registration form.
Governor Schwarzenegger's Assistant Secretary of Veterans Bill Perente, keynote speaker presented KNMF with a Commendation from the State of California Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Thomas Johnson endorsing the event and acknowledging KNMFs work. Governor Schwarzenegger issued a proclamation to KNMF extending his best wishes and future success in KNMFs commitment to improve the health and well-being of veterans by providing medical, legal, and employment programs as well as other assistance and for fostering social interaction in an environment that promotes self-reliance, self-respect and camaraderie. On behalf of KNMF, Los Hermanos student Dan Ecker read the proclamation and presented it to VA Director Lane Turzan for the support the Ambulatory Care Center Staff provides to KNMF. The Homeless Court and the Homeless Prevention Law Project was explained by Pamela Gomez, representing LA Public Council (LAPC); she and other attorneys responded to individual queries at the event, a service LAPC has provided KNMF since 1991. Nicole Nickelson presented an overview of what Veterans Day means to her, and she extended gratitude to our nation's veterans and military personnel.
It was noted that this was KNMFs 56th Personal Care Days Stand Down of which this was the 11th held at the VA Ambulatory Care Center. The VA Ambulatory Care Center Director Lane Turzan welcomed the homeless veterans and other veterans who participated at the event and had staff conduct intake to ensure that all veterans were registered for care at the clinic. KNMF has helped over 59,338 of LAs homeless veterans, needy kids in After School Literacy Programs, and other homeless and needy since 1991. It rained for the first half of the event, but it didn't stop the 328 homeless participants who attended Stand Down and the additional non-homeless veterans who attended the Job/Trade School Fair. Registration was required for the 328 Stand Down participants only; there were 249 veterans at Stand Down of which 12% represented Iraqi war veterans, 13% Desert Storm, .4% Kosovo, .4% Grenada, .4% Afghanastan, 63% Vietnam, 2% Korea, .8% WWII, and 8% more than one campaign or non-war era. Race/National Origin: 60% Black, 21% White, 18% Hispanic, .4% Asian-Pacific, and .7% Native American. Housing: 54% living on the street, 30% in Shelters on the day of the event, 20% transitional housing, and 13% other temporary housing. Of the homeless who attended, 16% were employed and 84% were unemployed or had temporary jobs. Disabilities: 62% reported a temporary or long-term disability.
KNMF has continued to be in the forefront helping our nations veterans and its founders, Nick Nickelson, a former aerospace manager and one of the first UDT/SEALs in the U. S. Navy is helping KNMF further their work through a new published book currently available at bookstores that describe his experiences as a Navy SEAL he served in the Vietnam war, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and rescued Astronaut Gordon Cooper in the Faith 7 Mercury Landing. Proceeds go directly to KNMF. The book can be ordered through this Web site.
Doris Nickelson, a former Human Resources EEO/AA/Hiring Officer with the Internal Revenue in LA left her model distinguished performance career with the agency to help homeless veterans when she found out in 1991 that LA comprised 54% of the homeless veteran population in the country today its 38% because of the efforts of KNMF and other LA homeless service providers. Doris led the Civil Service Salary Comparability Study that led to comparable pay for all Federal employees in Los Angeles County; when the project was approved, Doris resigned from the agency to start a new quest helping LAs homeless veterans and needy children. She brought her agency to parity levels with the Labor Force before she left the agency as well. Stand Downs and Personal Care Days are now being held all over the country to address the basic needs of our nations heroes who are now unemployed.
KNMFs New Stand Down and Job/College/Trade School Fair
- Personal Care Items all homeless participants will be provided with kindness from volunteers, a warm meal, personal care items (clothing, socks, t-shirts, shoes, hygiene supplies, blankets, and toys for children), and assistance from LAs homeless service providers. Limited military surplus boots & clothing will be made available to homeless veterans as supplies last.
- Homeless service providers will provide services to homeless veterans , including:: U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical and dental services, transitional housing & continuum of care opportunities at Beacon House in San Pedro, New Directions in West Los Angeles and Santa Monica, and USAVETS Inglewood, Long Beach, and Ventura, Legal Services by LA Public Council and social services, employment and training by the State Employment Development Department.
- All Veterans Job Fair & College/Trade School Fair a Job/College & Trade School Fair will be held in conjunction with the Stand Down Employers and College/Trade School Recruiters will provide counseling on employment and training opportunities, job applications, and training program applications to qualified veterans. Please be prepared to provide personal contact information, your employment and academic history required to apply for jobs and training programs . This event is open to Stand Down participants and to all Veterans.
KNMF would like to Thank everyone who participated at the event, including LAs homeless veterans, formerly homeless veterans, and other veterans.
THANK YOU TO EVENT DONORS:
- Vietnam Veterans of America, The Hatch, Goyette, Biernesser, and Scovill Families, Departments of: the Navy, Defense, and Veterans Affairs LA Ambulatory Care Center, Boeing Corporation, Northrop Grumman, M and M Management Company, In-N-Out Burger Corporation, South Bay and Beach City Community Supporters (from PV to Westchester, City of Los Angeles Supporters), City of Hermosa Beach, City of Manhattan Beach, City of San Pedro, and all the UDT/SEALs, their spouses, Veterans, and Military personnel all over the world, and our the many friends of KNMF who have supported sales of HOOYAH! UDT/SEAL Stories of the 1960s by Nick Nickelson ISBN: 1-93267-328-8 (proceeds to the author and sales through KNMF benefit KNMF. The book can also be purchased through Barnes and Noble, special orders through other books stores in your community, and through Amazon.com).
- Student Groups and Business Volunteers KNMF Volunteers - special thanks to Janice Davis, Belinda Ma, David De la Rocha, Nancy Kuiland, Jennifer, Margie, and Ron Rowland, the Beacon House Residents, Lane Braver and student volunteers from Mount San Antonio College, South Bay/Harbor High Schools Los Hermanos All South Bay High Schools, Chadwick, Mira Costa, Palos Verdes, Torrance, North Torrance, and West Torrance High Schools, Los Hermanos, LMU Gryphon Circle, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, South Bay Youth Project, Vietnam Veterans of America--Chapter 446 and 53, AMVETS, The South Bay Volunteer Center, Community Organizations, KNMF Board, and other KNMF Volunteers.
- Veteran Service Providers
- Speakers: State of CA Veterans Affairs Bill Perente, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Keynote Speaker), Lane Turzan, VA Ambulatory Care Center Director, Father Thomas Rausch, Loyola Marymount University, Pamela Gomez, Esquire, LA Public Council, and Nicole Nickelson.
- VA Ambulatory Care Center Staff Joetta, Milton, Sergeant Patrick Short, Dispatcher G. Armstrong, Sgt. R. Ruiz, Officer L. Gaines, Officer W. Mason, Officer J. Carthan, Officer J. Brice, and Officer R. Stewart, and the Nurse and Dental Staff
- Beacon House Luis Lozano and In-take Staff
- New Directions John Keaveney and In-take Staff
- USAVETS Dwight Radcliff and In-Take Staff
- LA Public Council Pamela Gomez, Valerie Grab, & Maurice Castellanos
- Employers Federal, State, and Private Sector Employers, Trade Schools and Colleges for giving Veterans an Opportunity for Employment and Training
- Dave Roberts from Picture This and Volunteers for Photo/Media Coverage
- Employers and Colleges/Trade Schools: Army National Guard, Cal Jobs, Camino Real Career School, ELA Vet Center, Dr. Jack Steingart, Kaiser Permanente, Marriott, Naval Reserve, U. S. Office of Personnel Mgmt (representing all Federal employers), Northrop Grumman and Northrop Vietnam Veterans Organization, including Armando and Don, Riordan Plumbing, State of California Veterans Homes, State of California-Personnel Board, UCLA-REI Medical Center, Westwood College (Aviation)
- College/Trade Schools: American Medical Response, Buzy Budies, Camino Real Career Truck School, Canon Business Solutions, Franklin Career College, ITT Technical Institute, Omega Career College
- Medical/Dental/Eye Care Provider: U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs, LA Ambulatory Care Center Staff
- Veteran and Non-Profit Organizations: LA Cnty Veterans Affairs, LA Urban League, and the National Next of Kin Registry
- Governor Proclamation and Commendation from the State of California Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Thomas Johnson Follows