Serving our Veterans
Caption: Mayor Stanton with female veterans.
As Mayor, supporting our veterans is among my highest priorities. The City of Phoenix is committed to ensuring that our veterans have access to key services and resources, whether housing and social services-related, or access to quality jobs. Our veterans and their families have made unthinkable sacrifices for our nation. At the city of Phoenix, we are committed to honoring this sacrifice.
The H.E.R.O. Initiative was formed to address the exceptionally high unemployment rate among veterans. Not only is the City of Phoenix making hiring qualified veterans a priority, but we are also working with top Valley companies to encourage that they, too, make a commitment to hiring veterans. Here are a few components of the initiative:
- In May, the city began training supervisors on the benefits and misconceptions associated with hiring veterans.
- The city is working with a broad coalition of community stakeholders to host “H.E.R.O. Hiring events.” These events are much different than typical job fairs. They are smaller, more personal, and our team does extensive groundwork in advance of the events to “pre-match” veteran job seekers and employers to ensure greater job placement.
- Prior to each hiring event, we host a series of workshops for veteran participants to assist them with resume translation from military language to civilian, interview skills, and general career readiness.
- We also host an employer reception and education session to educate participating employers on the benefits and misconceptions associated with hiring veterans.
Veterans Bootcamp on Homelessness Initiative
This initiative has housed nearly 150 chronically homeless veterans through cooperative arrangements with the VA, HUD, and the city. Part of the Phoenix Homeless Initiative is the Family Focused Initiative, a joint partnership between the Housing and Human Services Department that will provide 25 Public Housing units and case-work services per year for the next three years to assist families to move from the Watkins emergency shelter.
Phoenix is a key partner in the Arizona StandDown, one of the country’s largest, singular outreach events for homeless and at-risk veterans. A number of services are offered over a three-day period including: medical, dental, job placement, social services and housing assistance. Nearly 1,400 homeless and vulnerable veterans received services at the Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum in March.
The Veterans Court was established in 2012 and is a partnership between the Municipal Court, Prosecutor’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, and Phoenix Veterans Administration (VA). The goal of the Veterans Court is to restore veterans to being successful, contributing members of the community. The court focuses on ensuring that veterans entering the criminal justice system make contact with specific programs to address the root causes of the behavior that resulted in the veteran becoming a defendant in the criminal justice system.
No veteran who has selflessly served his or her nation should ever be without a safe and secure place to call home. Ending chronic homelessness among veterans is a key priority of mine and the City of Phoenix. The city currently provides funding to seven supportive housing facilities across the city for homeless veterans and their families. In addition, we have provided 695 housing vouchers to further address veteran homelessness. Although we are making great strides in addressing this unacceptable problem, we must continue to collaborate with key community partners and invest all available resources until all of our city’s veterans are housed.
Veterans Day Parade
The annual Phoenix Veterans Day Parade is one of the largest in the nation. It is the one time of year when the entire community comes together to rally around and thank our veterans. My family and I enjoy the parade every year and know how important it is to our city. The future of the parade was in jeopardy earlier this year when the VA, who had been the event’s primary sponsor, withdrew their support. With the city's logistical support, the parade will go on this year! I can’t imagine Veterans Day without the parade and the show of support it provides to our veterans. See you on Veterans Day!