Veterans center is honored by national group Maryland organization provides aid to homeless

May 10, 1998|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

The Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training was honored in Washington yesterday by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans for displaying "extraordinary leadership."

The center, formerly known as Maryland Homeless Veterans Inc., received the coalition's Outstanding Membership Award for bringing service providers together to help homeless veterans, said coalition Treasurer Tim Cantwell.

Said coalition spokeswoman Julianne Crane: "We hold [the center] up as a role model" for its team-building. "As a nonprofit, it is very important to work well with other community organizations. This organization has done just that."

The Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training has served more than 1,200 veterans since May 1994. The group has formed alliances with the federal departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, Baltimore's mental health system and several veterans service organizations.

"We don't believe you can just give a person a bed for a night," said Col. Charles Williams, executive director of the center. "We give veterans food, clothing and, most importantly, training and education. We get them back in school so they can get a job that pays a living wage."

This is the second time the center has been recognized for its work. Last year, HUD Secretary Andrew M. Cuomo declared it a national model for other veterans organizations.

The center, at 301 N. High St. in downtown Baltimore, includes four components -- a day drop-in center; a short-term emergency shelter; a longer-term traditional housing program; and a 79-unit, hTC $1.8 million housing facility for once-homeless veterans who have lived in short-term housing and seek permanent living quarters.

Pub Date: 5/10/98

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