(WASHINGTON, D.C.)--Theodore R. Jones, a Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) food service worker and member of the American of Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), will testify before Congress on September 20, to help end veteran homelessness.
Jones, who works at the West Haven (Conn.) DVA Medical Center, will provide testimony before the House Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing on The Homeless Veterans Assistance Act of 2001 (H.R. 2716) and The Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Assistance Act (H.R. 936).
Jones will share with lawmakers his moving, personal struggle as a homeless Air Force veteran and drug addict, as well as suggestions on ways to improve legislation to better help homeless veterans.
"I slept in hallways of housing projects, under bridges, and sometimes I didn't sleep but just walked around," says Jones, who also called an abandoned car 'home' for over five months. "If we force veterans to wait to get into a treatment bed or force them to use outpatient services, we are dooming them to a failed recovery," says Jones.
"The lack of substance abuse treatment beds is effecting the DVA's ability to end veteran homelessness," emphasizes Jones. "I urge you to pass legislation that establishes a minimum number of inpatient substance abuse beds."
AFGE represents over 135,000 professional and non-professional DVA workers. AFGE is the largest union for government employees, representing 600,000 federal workers in the United States and overseas, as well as employees of the District of Columbia. To learn more about AFGE, log onto www.afge.org.