On Friday, February 24th Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (NY 08), the House Democratic leader, hosted a Veterans Resource Fair, in partnership with Black Veterans for Social Justice (BVSJ), at the organization’s headquarters at 665 Willoughby Avenue. The event was held in collaboration with other stakeholders and agencies whose representatives were on hand to assist veterans in finding affordable housing, good-paying jobs and other important resources.
Rep. Jeffries announced that he secured $1 million in funding for BVSJ’s Incarcerated Veterans Transitional Program, through the Government Funding Law. The congressman told the jam-packed room of veterans “in the last spending agreement that was finally reached at the end of December, one of the organizations that I fought to include in that Community Project was the Black Veterans for Social Justice, in connection with the initiative to try to make sure that formerly incarcerated veterans could get back on their feet.” Turning to BVSJ staff standing beside him, Jeffries continued, “So, in connection with the Incarcerated Veterans Transitional Program, it is my honor to present this check to Black Veterans for Social Justice, for $1 million!”
Jelani Mashariki, Vice President of Facilities and Community Engagement at BVSJ, praised Jeffries for the donation and thanked a plethora of agencies, including NYC Department of the Aging, AARP, Brooklyn Job Corps Academy, The Mayor’s Office For People With Disabilities, Brooklyn Navy Yard, NHS Work Building, IRS, Oak Street Health, Department of Veterans Services, Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP), Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), Jobs to Build On (JTBO), HUD and S.S.G. Fox Suicide Prevention Program, for their participation in the event. He stated, “It is very important that veterans can access resources and know how to.”
Veteran Asha Castlebery-Hernandez also expressed her appreciation for the assistance. The current Army Reserves Major stated, “It’s very important to me that we combat veteran homelessness. I have experienced being on a long deployment of 36 months and coming back and transitioning, it’s very hard integrating with the civilian world. It’s very important that we are able to provide job opportunities for veterans and also for females to make sure they’re provided with quality healthcare.”
President and CEO of BVSJ Wendy McClinton presented Congressman Jeffries with a t-shirt and membership pin as a symbol of his honorary induction into the organization, which was founded in 1979.