City Council Presents Year of the Veteran Resolution at Public Kick-off Event


PHILADELPHIA, PA –City Council members unanimously passed a resolution proposed by Councilman-At-Large David Oh, Councilman Mark Squilla, and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell declaring 2014 as the “Year of the Veteran” in Philadelphia.



The public presentation of the resolution to the Veterans Multi-Service Center and One Book, One Philadelphia, will take place at the National Liberty Museum on March 10, 2014 at 6PM. This is a history-making event which highlights and celebrates the accomplishments of our veterans, as well as continues to raise public awareness of issues related to veterans and the ongoing initiatives to serve those who have served.


In addition to the “Year of the Veteran” kick-off, there will be various veteran-focused events held throughout Philadelphia in 2014. The One Book, One Philadelphia program will host a number of events highlighting “The Yellow Birds” by Kevin Powers which gives a powerful depiction of the truth and tragedy of war. The VMC will host the first annual “Bridge to Opportunity” 5K Run over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in May. The Veterans Wheelchair Games presented by the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Paralyzed Veterans of America will take place in August, attracting over 600 competitors from across the Nation.



About the Veterans Multi-Service Center (VMC) The VMC exists solely to “serve those who served” this great nation and their families. We are the only non-profit agency in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas that provides a comprehensive resource center available to all Veterans. Visit to learn more.

About One Book, One Philadelphia The Goal of One Book, One Philadelphia is to promote reading, literacy, and libraries, and to encourage the entire greater Philadelphia area to come together through reading and discussing a single book. The book selected for 2014 is The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers. Visit

About the National Liberty Museum Located in the heart of historic Philadelphia, the National Liberty Museum is dedicated to preserving America’s heritage of freedom by fostering good character, civic responsibility and respect for all people. Visit

Candice Gronski - A Success Story

The Veterans Multi-Service Center would like to introduce you to Ms. Candice Gronski and share her story of success in using the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.


Ms. Gronski, a client at the SSVF program in Coatesville, PA is a Navy veteran from the west coast. Her last duty station was in Florida where she was a system administrator/analyst. The mother of two daughters, Candice is a highly responsible and steadfast person.



During the first part of 2011, Candice and her daughters were forced to flee their home due to repeated and escalating periods of domestic violence and child abuse—which left her oldest daughter with a permanent pain disorder to one of her legs.

After reporting the abuse and leaving her husband, Ms Gronski and her daughters relied on transitional housing, friends’ sofas, motels and homeless shelters for safety and a place to sleep. With a low-income job and unstable housing, she reluctantly sent one of her daughters to live with relatives in Wisconsin, and had to leave her other daughter behind on the west coast while she moved to PA. The circumstances were less than ideal for her eldest daughter, but Ms. Gronski did not want her daughter on the street in PA during the winter. As a result of her living conditions, her oldest daughter contracted MRSA from the unclean living environment, and experienced complications from her incurable pain disorder: RND (Reflex Neurovascular Dystrophy).

With help from the SSVF and the Veterans Multi-Service Center, Ms. Gronski has secured a two bedroom apartment in Kennett Square within walking distance of her job. It was only then, with adequate arrangements that she could hope to be reunited with her daughters.


The Veteran’s Multi-Service Center in Philadelphia has a mission to “serve those who served.” We are the only non-profit agency in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas that provides comprehensive resources to address and advocate for the evolving needs of military veterans and their families. We have an unselfish commitment to provide individualized assistance and support in a dignified and holistic manner. We offer a full range of services and programs meant to cultivate opportunities for advancement for all our service members.



We wish nothing but the best for Ms. Gronski and her daughters.

"Pioneers for Patriots" Supports Veterans Multi-Service Center


















From left to right in the photograph are:  Kent Milliken, Director of Economic Development; Mrs. Wendy Sedlak; Nicole Paradis; Robbie Sedlak; Katie Sedlak; and Jaclynn Ries, Perimeter Program Coordinator


Robbie and Katie Sedlak and the volunteer club they founded at Conestoga High School, called “Pioneers for Patriots”, ran bake sales and sold T-Shirts to raise over $200.00 for the VMC. In addition, they donated various collected items such as food, drinks, and personal hygiene items. Nicole Paradis, who attends the Agnes Irwin School, raised and donated $300.00 as well as blankets from her school in support of Veterans and the VMC.


Robbie is the founder and President of “Pioneers for Patriots” with his sister, Katie, as Vice President. Their younger brother, Jimmie Sedlak (11 years old) intends to continue Robbie and Katie’s legacy in supporting veterans with “Pioneers for Patriots” when he ultimately attends Conestoga High School.


Their mother, Wendy Sedlak, is the daughter of retired Air Force C130 Rescue Pilot Lt. Col. Paul Andrew Daniel and the granddaughter of retired Air Force C141 pilot Lt. Col. Darrell Minard. Being a military dependent for over 26 years, she and her husband, Rob Sedlak, have truly taught their family and friends the value of supporting our military Veterans. Based on these strong family influences, Robbie has had an affinity for the military his entire life which is perpetually displayed by his tireless efforts in supporting Veterans. Robbie has also recently been accepted to attend the Virginia Military Institute and was recruited to play lacrosse.

From all of us at the VMC, we are eternally grateful for their warm generosity and caring support.

2014 Year of the Veteran

Today is a monumental day for all of us at the VMC, but most importantly, for veterans of the City of Philadelphia.


After several months of dedication, City Council members unanimously passed a resolution proposed by Councilman Oh, Councilman Squilla, Council President Clarke, Councilwoman Blackwell and Councilman Johnson declaring 2014 as the Year of the Veteran.


The resolution highlights the City of Philadelphia’s great efforts to recognize and honor its veterans. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States Army, United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. Roughly 88,000 veterans, whose service spans World War II to the present, currently reside here. The Philadelphia Free Library’s One Book, One Philadelphia program has also chosen The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers, a tale of a veteran’s experience while at war, as its selection for discussions and events to be held throughout the city. Philadelphia will also be host of the Veteran Wheelchair Games in August 2014, with competitors all over the nation traveling to participate.


This day marks a powerful movement, a significant shift in public awareness of issues facing our veterans. Within the year of 2014, we anticipate ample opportunities to share our work, personal narratives, and to propel our mission to its ultimate success. Can you feel the excitement in the air? You should.


The full resolution is below.


Read it. Share it. Celebrate it.


On Thursday, February 27th we will formally receive the signed resolution from City Council.


We also plan to hold a public event to kick-off this initiative, stand by for those details!



Recognizing 2014 as the "Year of the Veteran in Philadelphia" to highlight and celebrate the accomplishments as well as continue to raise public awareness of issues related to veterans and the ongoing initiatives to serve those who have served.

WHEREAS, Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States Army, United States Navy and United States Marine Corps, establishing a link between our city and those who have served our country dating back to pre-Revolutionary War times; and

WHEREAS, Veterans from past wars and peace time as well as those currently returning from overseas military duty to Philadelphia are part of the foundation of our community having served our Country in the Armed Forces, putting themselves in harms way, willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, to protect us and preserve our liberties; and

WHEREAS, There are roughly 88,000 veterans living in Philadelphia with service spanning World War II until the present, men and women, of all races, religions, ethnicities, gender-identifications and physical abilities; and

WHEREAS, A new generation of veterans, including many female veterans are returning from service and choosing to live, work and further their education in Philadelphia; and

WHEREAS, Veterans offer our city a talented and experienced pool of leaders, workers and neighbors; and

WHEREAS, Many veterans face challenges in living to their fullest potential because of the injuries, both mental and physical, suffered during their service; and

WHEREAS, In 2012, Philadelphia became the first city in America to offer a tax credit to employers hiring returning veterans which will be assessed and modified as needed in 2014; and

WHEREAS, In 2012, a coalition was formed to include the City of Philadelphia, the Department of Veteran Affairs and other partner non-profit organizations, such as The Veterans Multi-Service Center, to end veteran homelessness in Philadelphia by the end of 2014; and

WHEREAS, City Council passed a Resolution authorizing the Committee on Global Opportunities and the Creative/Innovative Economy to hold hearings on the state of veterans in Philadelphia which will be held in 2014; and

WHEREAS, The Philadelphia Free Library, One Book, One Philadelphia program has chosen The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers, a tale of a veteran’s experience while at war, as its selection for discussions and events to be held throughout the city in 52 existing libraries; and

WHEREAS, Philadelphia will host the Veteran Wheelchair Games in August 2014, with over 600 competitors from all over the Nation traveling to Philadelphia in order to participate; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, That it hereby recognizes 2014 as the "Year of the Veteran in Philadelphia" to highlight and celebrate the accomplishments as well as continue to raise public awareness of issues related to veterans and the ongoing initiatives to serve those who have served.

Water Floods Veterans Center

By Dan Stamm

NBC 10

A broken valve sent water gushing from a local veterans center this morning.

Water began pouring out of the first floor of the Veterans Multi-Service Center at 4th and Florist Streets in the Old City section of Philadelphia around 5 a.m. With temps around freezing the water quickly became ice.

Folks from the services center said it appeared the leak was caused by a pump failure in the six-story building.

The ground floor, where the city’s first services center for women specifically opened earlier this month, is where the majority of damaged occurred.

"Having a six-story building with a flood in it that's a big problem for us as far as serving our clients," said Executive Director Tim Meserve.

The veterans charity opened in1980.

Related Stories

Tim Meserve said that the upper floors of the building would be open Monday as they worked to assess the damage to the ground floor.

The cause of the pipe break remained under investigation Monday morning.

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."

star-imageour supportersstar-image

  • PNC Foundation
  • logos
  • logos
  • logos
  • Comcast-Foundation
  • logos
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Vanguard
  • General Electric
  • Jefferson Logo 4C HP tag 200x54
  • LincolnFinancialFoundation
  • pepperlogo

  • PSLG
  • Independence Blue Cross 351x74