Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Military News

Operation Reveille provides housing, services for homeless veterans

TAMPA

On Veterans Day, 50 ex-military members got the one thing they never should have had to go without: a home.

Hillsborough County, in collaboration with the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative and the city of Tampa, launched the rapid rehousing program dubbed Operation Reveille to keep pace with the national goal of ending homelessness among veterans by 2015.

A county survey in February identified 250 homeless veterans, including 134 who were living on the streets or in emergency shelters. Operation Reveille dramatically reduced those numbers in one day by following a housing-first model that moves people directly from the streets into their own homes and then provides services to help them retain those homes.

"We are not just giving them a key to an apartment. We are providing 12 months of wraparound services to give them the support they need to be self-sufficient," said Julie Watkinson, spokeswoman for the event.

Those services include intensive case management, employment services, health care and financial counseling. After a year, veterans may still be eligible for assistance based on their needs.

"This is housing-first on steroids," said Antoinette Hayes-Triplett, CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative. "Housing people in one day is almost unheard of."

Triplett oversaw a similar rehousing program in St. Louis in her previous role as manager of the city's Homeless Services Division. In Tampa, she set out to create a model that could be adopted by other cities.

"The goal is to put a system of collaboration in place to make sure a veteran never sleeps on the streets again," Triplett added.

That system brings together government agencies, faith-based organizations, nonprofit agencies and businesses. Funding for Operation Reveille is coming from federal, local government and private sources.

The effort that made Operation Reveille possible was on display Nov. 5 at the Palms at University on N 19th Street, where four apartments were being prepared for veterans. Representatives from Ashley Furniture, which donated items for all 50 apartments in the program, assembled beds and tables while volunteers stocked the homes with everything from linens to pantry staples. Hillsborough County Commissioners Sandy Murman and Les Miller stopped by to lend a hand.

"As a veteran, you don't know how much it means to me to see this happen," Miller said.

Similar scenarios played out over the course of the next few days until apartments in complexes across the county were ready for their new residents.

On Tuesday morning, a bugle filled Port Tampa Bay with the sounds of reveille as veterans lined up outside Terminal 6. Katie Jordan and her 7-year-old son, Aaron, were among them. Jordan, an Army veteran who, at age 25, has not had a stable residence for herself and her son since returning from Afghanistan in 2010, was humbled by the prospect of a home of her own.

"There are no words. It is amazing how all of these people have come together …," she said.

That night, as promised, 50 veterans now had a place to call home.

Comments
Sunk by torpedo a century ago, USS Tampa left a legacy of protection

Sunk by torpedo a century ago, USS Tampa left a legacy of protection

As dusk was settling in over the Irish sea, a German submarine spotted a lone ship steaming toward England’s Bristol Channel. The U-boat dived to attack. About half an hour later, it fired a single torpedo. In his battle notes, the commander,...
Published: 09/20/18
Updated: 09/22/18
Howard Altman: Tampa World War II veteran turning 100 recalls guarding prisoners then celebs

Howard Altman: Tampa World War II veteran turning 100 recalls guarding prisoners then celebs

Frank Sorbera was a band boy for the Russ Morgan Orchestra, lugging equipment and driving vehicles, all the while hoping to one day join the big band outfit as a singer.But it was 1944, World War II was grinding on and Uncle Sam had other plans for t...
Published: 09/13/18
Updated: 09/14/18
Saved by a hunk of marble, Trinity man recalls harrowing escape from World Trade Center

Saved by a hunk of marble, Trinity man recalls harrowing escape from World Trade Center

TAMPA — Shortly before 9 a.m. on a beautiful morning 17 years ago, Greg Amira was making his way up to his office on the 73rd floor in the south tower of the World Trade Center.He felt the building shake."I assumed Building No. 1 was hit," Amira said...
Published: 09/11/18
Updated: 09/12/18
Experts say it’s likely Cuba embassy workers were sickened by ‘directed energy’ weapons

Experts say it’s likely Cuba embassy workers were sickened by ‘directed energy’ weapons

There is a "high probability" that U.S. embassy workers sickened in Cuba in late 2016 were attacked by a "directed energy" weapon, a biochemistry expert told officials from U.S. Special Operations Command and its Ybor City-based incubator partner Sof...
Updated one month ago
World War II nurse, turning 100 in Tampa, recalls the pain of invisible wounds

World War II nurse, turning 100 in Tampa, recalls the pain of invisible wounds

TAMPA — During her time as an Army nurse in World War II, treating the wounded in North Africa, Normandy and the Ardennes Forest, Martha Cameron proved to be a pioneer in more ways than one.One of the first women to land in France after D-day, part o...
Updated one month ago
SOCom is asking to see all kinds of drones, some for delivering blood to the battlefield

SOCom is asking to see all kinds of drones, some for delivering blood to the battlefield

On a far-flung battlefield, 100 miles from the nearest treatment center, a Navy corpsman signals for a small drone to bring life-saving blood to a wounded commando.Meanwhile, a tiny drone shaped like a bug spies on enemy leaders. Another small drone ...
Updated one month ago
Howard Altman: Carrollwood veteran gets hero’s welcome retrieving dog tags from Normandy

Howard Altman: Carrollwood veteran gets hero’s welcome retrieving dog tags from Normandy

Nearly 75 years after first coming ashore in France as a young Army soldier, Boris Stern returned this summer to offer thanks to those who helped return his long-lost dog tag.He arrived to a hero’s welcome."I’ve been all over the world," said Stern, ...
Updated one month ago