Governor Wolf Discusses Efforts to Reduce Veterans’ Homelessness, Expand Resources Available to Veterans at the 53rd Annual VFW Mid-Winter Conference

January 20, 2017

Pittsburgh, PA – Today, Governor Wolf attended the VFW’s 53rd Annual Mid-Winter Conference in Pittsburgh. The governor discussed issues faced by veterans in our communities, progress in veterans’ services, and thanked the VFW for working to ensure that veterans across the Commonwealth are getting the support they deserve.

“It is our responsibility to take care of those who take care of us every day, through their service to this country,” said Governor Wolf. “Whether you are working in the VFW, working with DMVA, or working with us through the State Veterans Commission, you all are the best voice and advocate for Pennsylvania veterans”

Governor Wolf highlighted recent programs and initiatives aimed to improve the process in which active military members and veterans receive services, information, and support.

In 2015, Governor Wolf and his administration committed to working towards an end to veterans’ homelessness by helping veterans off the streets and into safe, permanent, and sustainable housing.

The Wolf Administration has worked with the VFW and partners in local and Federal government to find housing for Pennsylvania veterans. In late 2016, a year after making the initial commitment, Governor Wolf and the Department of Military and Veterans affairs announced that more than 2,200 homeless veterans had been placed in permanent housing.

Last November, Governor Wolf was joined by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Department of Human Services to announce the launch of the Pennsylvania Network of Care for veterans, military members, and their families.

The Pennsylvania Network of Care is an interactive web portal that provides information to military families and veterans for a variety of local resources such as social networking, job postings, health records, peer support and advocacy. The program has worked to streamline services and reduce complexity for those who are searching for local services.

“We are making sure that veterans have access to the support they need when making the transition back to home life,” Governor Wolf said. “We all know that our service members and veterans should not have to jump through hoops, or face a confusing and fragmented system, when returning home and seeking services”

Earlier this month, Governor Wolf and Secretary of State Pedro Cortés announced that military veterans and reservists are now exempt from certain fees for business start-ups and professional licensure.

“Eliminating these fees for our military veterans and reservists is another way to foster the best possible business climate in Pennsylvania,” Governor Wolf said. “At the same time, we are showing veterans the gratitude they deserve for their service and sacrifices.”

The Department of the Pennsylvania VFW hosts a membership of more than 90,000 combat vets who belong to 400 local Posts. The VFW continues to set the pace for growth and program development that provides advocacy, camaraderie, support and outreach for veterans and service members across the Commonwealth.

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