Congratulations SSVF !!!

Hi North Atlantic Team,

I am just so incredibly proud of you. Congratulations! You did it!

Over this part year, I have witnessed some pretty amazing things, and I just want to briefly reflect on them before we finish out the year.

·         Empowering Veteran families and providing hope
·         New grantees onboarding to SSVF, starting up their programs, and learning quickly
·         Transitioning regions
·         3 Regional Meetings with lots of learning, ideas, brainstorming, and sharing
·         Submitted comments on the proposed final rule
·         The Mayors' and Governors' Challenge, 25 Cities, and Boot Camps
·         Presenting at state and national conferences
·         A few program guidesJ
·         Developing collaborations with organizations and partners in your communities including businesses, landlords, criminal justice, employment services, etc.
·         Shared geography coordination
·         Awesome and creative outreach to assist those most in need
·         Local strategy development and follow through around ending homelessness among Veterans
·         Adding specializations like legal, financial education, employment services, and benefits
·         Cross pollination of ideas by visiting each other and learning from each other
·         State and Tri-state strategy development
·         Becoming experts at rapid re-housing and housing first
·         CARF and COA accreditation
·         Presenting on regional calls and facilitating at regional meetings
·         Helping each other
·         Assessing your program and thinking strategically about finances and program development
·         Using data to drive strategy and decision-making
·         Completing monitoring visits
·         Video submissionsJ
·         Mentoring formally and informally
·         Successful repository uploads and stellar QPRs
·         Building and developing leaders
·         Policies and Procedures
·         And so many more…..

But team, the work is not done. If anything, now is the time to commit even deeper to our incredible mission to end homelessness among Veterans. We can do it.

I know that things can sometimes feel tough. However, you are leaders and pioneers paving the path for other systems; changing systems is not easy. Remember that your work is directly helping us to learn what interventions work best and how we can continue to refine our practices.

As we go into next year, remember that we are a team; this is not a competition. We have to value learning together and sharing resources. We have to believe in the power of housing first and meeting each family at their point of need. Good work happens because of solid strategy. We also have to value flexibility and the ability to course correct if something isn't working the way we expected. We have to challenge each other and challenge ourselves. In the end, you are making a difference. And we are incredibly thankful for your work.

Thanks for your service!


Adrienne Nash Meléndez, MLD
SSVF Regional Coordinator
VA National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans