Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hey, long time no write

It has been a really long time since I posted last. Last week was a very busy week for my office. It was Grant Review week. We brought in over 50 people from all of the US to review and evaluate over 400 Grant Applications. I work as a Budget Analyst (I just got my REAL title) for the Veterans Administration, Homeless Grant and Per Diem Office. We give out grants to non-profit agencies that provide services and transitional housing to homeless veterans. Before coming to work here last July I had no idea that there was an epidemic for homeless veterans. I also had no idea how many agencies there are out there to support the homeless veterans.

Much of our day is spent answering the phone. Many people get out number from our program homepage but do not actually read what we are about. So we get calls from veterans themselves and sometimes family members or friends of veterans. Some think we will give money to the veteran to help with mortgage payments or assistance with rent. Others are actually homeless and need to find a shelter. Either way we listen to their "story" and try to help them with their needs. If it is because they are homeless, we try to put them in touch with their local VA Med Center. Every Medical Center has a Homeless Coordinator. Sometimes we have to tell them that there really is nothing that we or the VA can do to help them. It can really tug at your heart when you hear them talk about losing their homes, living on a friends couch, etc.

I am so excited! My airman is coming home for Memorial Day weekend. They are giving them Friday off so they get a 4 day weekend. She will fly in on Thursday and go back on Monday. 3 whole days of hanging out. Then we meet in Phoenix 2 weeks later for a wedding AND she is coming back to Tampa for the 4th of July weekend. How great is that?

And it is official, she got her trade of base assignments and is now heading to Fairchild AFB in Spokane, WA instead of Travis. She is excited about it. I am excited that she is excited. She will be able to see her friends more but will still be on the other side of the states from me ;(

I gotta go to the grocery store now but I promise to TRY to blog more. ;)

5 comments:

Debbie in NC said...

Michelle,

What a rewarding 2nd career! I wasn't aware until recently, how many homeless vets there were! This pulls at my heart strings too because there is no excuse for it. If we can afford to send to war, we can damn well afford to take care of them when they return! Thank you for your contribution to help remedy the situation :)

I saw your AFMD email about Michelle and agree...it's great for her to be back in home state but poor Mom is way too far away! How much longer will you be in FL?
Awhile I'm sure...you just got there. BUT, when you do go visit, you'll be near your old friends too! :)

Tonjia said...

I am amazed at the amount of homeless vets we have here. It is very sad and disheartening.

Yay for Shay! I am glad she got the base assignment that she wanted, I am sure she feels like she has been at Tech school for years and years.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

I am happy for Shay but sad for you at the same time. Guess it's best that she got what she wanted but I understand completely why it would not have been your first choice.

Hang in there proud momma. :)

Hallie

Lisa J said...

Hey, thanks for coming to visit and leaving such kind, thoughtful words. I hope you do ok with your Shay so far away. My step daughter and son n law are in Navy so the past 8 or 9 years they have either been east or west coast. Sucks since they have provided us a couple grand kids. But now they are stationed (well in June) in Stillwater, OK (about 45 min to an hour away!!!!)At least for the next 3 MAYBE four years we will get to spend much more time with them all. Hope it works out for us and you as well. Again, thanks so much for your heartwarming words. It is appreciated.

Lisa J said...

I just nearly jumped out of my chair after reading your comment left for me. I too live in the Berryhill area and my cousins children go to school there!!! Email me so we can connect when you have time!!!