VMC's Women Veterans Center on Fox 29 Philly

Many gathered as we celebrated the First Anniversary of our Women Veterans Center, including Fox29 Philly! Look for Women Veterans Coordinator and Army Desert Storm Veteran, Aronda Smith, on the 6pm Newst to hear about the successes of the Women Veterans Center's first year as well as future plans for 2015!



Women Veterans Center Celebrates First Anniversary

VMC Women Veterans Center Celebrates First Anniversary

PHILADELPHIA, PA – January 12, 2015 – To celebrate one extraordinary year of serving local women veterans in Philadelphia and surrounding counties, the Women Veterans Center of the Veterans Multi-Service Center will host an open house this Wednesday, January 14th at 11:00 AM.

The Women Veterans Center, dedicated space on the ground floor of the VMC Headquarters in Old City, was opened by the VMC in January 2014 to address the specific and unique needs of women veterans and ensure all women veterans have equitable access to benefits services and resources. As of today, over 200 women have sought services from this program and this number is expected to continue rise along with the increasing women veteran population.

While still in its infancy, the VMC Women Veterans Center has been an invaluable resource to both local women veterans and the community at large. Last fall, physicians from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center and the University of Pennsylvania partnered with the center to develop a comprehensive understanding of the challenges facing women veterans in an effort to improve health care services provided for these veterans.

At the First Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, Aronda Smith, the Women Veterans Coordinator and Army Desert Storm Veteran, will provide a Year-In-Review summary to discuss the growth of the past year and reveal future plans for the center.

WHO:  The VMC’s Women’s Veterans Center and Supporters

WHAT:  Open House to Celebrate First Anniversary

WHEN:   Wednesday, January 14th at 11:00AM

WHERE:       Women Veterans Center, VMC Headquarters, 213-217 N 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Veteran Supporters Gather for “Year of the Veteran” Finale Event

PHILADELPHIA, PA –December 13, 2014  To celebrate the resolution that declared 2014 the “Year of the Veteran” in Philadelphia, key proponents of the resolution, City Council members David Oh and Mark Squilla, will be joined by former PA Congressman Patrick Murphy and Executive Director of the Veterans Multi-Service Center Tim Williams to speak on the progress made for veterans in Philadelphia and beyond during this monumental year.

The Year of the Veteran Finale will take place at the Free Library of Philadelphia on December 17th, 2014. The event will highlight and celebrate the accomplishments made to advance the cause of our veterans, as well as raise public awareness of the ongoing initiatives to serve those who have served.


WHO :  Councilman David Oh, Councilman Mark Squilla, Former PA Congressman Patrick Murphy, The Veterans Multi-Service Center Executive Director, Tim Williams

WHAT:   Finale in Celebration of all things accomplished during the “Year of the Veteran”

WHEN:   Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 6:30PM

WHERE:   Free Library of Philadelphia - 1901 Vine Street,Philadelphia, PA 19103

New Orleans Success Sparks Discussion of Philadelphia’s Progress in Ending Veteran Homelessness Initiative

New Orleans Success Sparks Discussion of Philadelphia’s Progress

in Ending Veteran Homelessness Initiative


Philadelphia, PA January 9, 2015 – Earlier this week, when New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that his city has conquered the homeless veterans’ issue, members of veteran and homeless advocacy organizations in Philadelphia were reminded that our city is closer than ever to joining New Orleans in eliminating veteran homelessness.


"Through a ton of collaborative effort by the Veterans Multi-Service Center (VMC) and many others, we are more than 50% of the way towards the goal of ending veteran homelessness in Philadelphia.  We will fight for every vet who needs housing to find a decent affordable place to live.  It is the least we can do for their service on our behalf," said Steve Culbertson, Director of Veteran and Housing Programs at Impact Services.  


Culbertson, along with a team of public and private non-profit organizations, is leading Philadelphia in the VA “25 Cities Initiative” which aims to build on President Obama’s 2009 announcement to end Veteran Homelessness by 2015 by accelerating the pace and integrating efforts in the 25 communities with the largest concentrations of those experiencing homelessness. As these cities with high veteran populations successfully stamp out veteran homelessness, the once wildly ambitious goal appears all the more attainable for Philadelphia.


Martha Kegel, Director of UNITY, the organization that led the final push in providing housing for homeless veterans in New Orleans, shed light on how this can be achieved in priority cities, “Of course you understand that going forward, it’s not like no one is ever going to become homeless again, but it’s about having a rapid response system in place so that the number of veterans who are in homelessness at any given point is never more than what you can house that month.” The VMC and other organizations spearheading the initiative locally, are following a similar model and after tremendous progress of 2014 (including housing 620 homeless veterans), expects to end veteran homelessness in Philadelphia by the end of this year.


Kathy Salerno, Director of Homeless Services at the VMC, is convinced the ambitious plan to end veteran homelessness in the city is attainable, with the support of the greater community as a whole. When asked how one can help, Salerno states “while we are always looking for property owners with units to rent,   support in the form of gift cards for food items, or move-in baskets to aid veterans in transition will make the difference in accomplishing our goals.” 



About the Veteran’s Multi Service Center (VMC) –Since 1980,the VMC has existed solely to “serve those who served” this great nation and their families. We are theonly non-profit agency in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas that provides a comprehensive resource center available to all Veterans In 2014 alone, the VMC housed over 500+ veterans and families and has boosted public discussion of Veteran Homelessness through their #RewriteTheCardboard social media campaign. For more information about the VMC, visit: www.VMCenter.org

About Impact Services - For 40 years, Impact Services, a non-profit in the Kensington area of Philadelphia, has worked to address the root causes of poverty and alleviate neighborhood distress. Impact’s Veteran Services department serves over 300 veterans a year offering homeless and disadvantaged veterans comprehensive sets of housing, employment, and supportive services. For more information about Impact Services, visit www.impact.org

VMC Gives Thanks for Sacred Assembly Church

 Female Vets at Beauty Day Event


As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, the VMC has much to be thankful for, including our many generous supporters that contribute their time, money, and talents to help us serve over 2,500 local veterans each year.


One of these fantastic community partners is The Sacred Assembly Christian Fellowship Church led by Pastor Diane Brisbane.


Since March, Sacred Assembly CFC has hosted 9 separate events at the VMC’s Perimeter Center with as many as 99 veterans attending per event!  Among them are the very popular “Feeding with Love” luncheons, and free barber services that they call “Powercuts and Grooming Days” for our male veterans and “Beauty Days” for our female veterans. The “Beauty Days” invite women to come for hairstyling, facials, and pedicures while the “Powercuts and Grooming” provide an opportunity for a haircut and shave.


While you might not immediately think of “haircuts” as an important need among our Veterans, Pastor Brisbane and Sacred Assembly certainly did. They recognized the value in “looking and feeling good” and transferred their women’s ministry mission of “giving beauty for ashes” into events that not only offer a free service but also extend encouragement and empowerment to our veterans. And it must be working. With each event, we have seen an increase in participation, allowing us to reach more and more of our nation’s heroes.


This Thanksgiving, VMC is ever grateful for supporters like Sacred Assembly Christian Fellowship Church who have joined in our mission to “serve those who have served”.


About Sacred Assembly Christian Fellowship Church -- founded by Pastor Diane Brisbane, Sacred Assembly Christian Fellowship Church is located in the heart of Philadelphia. Known its missionary work, community feedings and outreach services, one mission is to give Beauty for Ashes.  201 North 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-750-1088


About VMC’s Perimeter Center -- opened in the spring of 2000, the Perimeter provides a full spectrum of services to homeless Veterans.  The premise of the Perimeter is to define a boundary of defense for our Veterans, separating the safe from the unsafe.  Located in VMC Headquarters in Center City Philadelphia, over 16,000 homeless Veteran client visits are recorded annually.  


Anonymous - Philadelphia, PA

"I am the wife of a Viet Nam Veteran. My husband started going to PVMSEC 10 years ago for help. No mere words could ever express how much his life and in turn our family life has changed for the better in those years. I am and always will be grateful for the wonderful care he has received at the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service Center & Education Center."

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