Veterans Housing – Homes for Heroes

“To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan”

This phrase, from President’s Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address, affirms our nation’s obligation to care for those physically and mentally harmed protecting our freedoms and to provide for their families. It is a solemn and sacred commitment.  It is a debt of gratitude we all owe. As housing providers, we have a unique opportunity to fulfill this duty.

The Apartment Association of Tarrant County (AATC) is partnering with the City of Fort Worth (CFW), Veterans Administration (VA), and the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition (TCHC) to identified available units for homeless military veterans. TCHC’s goal was to house 100 veterans by the end of 2018.

As of January 1st, AATC members have housed 171 veterans.  Because of our members’ efforts, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Arlington City Council member Victoria Myers presented AATC with Tarrant County Homeless Coalition’s prestigious Landlord of the Year award.  AATC 2018 Veterans Housing Task Force Chair Cayce Coon (Madera Residential) and I accepted the award on your behalf.  Thanks so much for all you’ve done to help with this extremely worthy cause.

That’s a great start, but our goal is to end veteran homelessness in Tarrant County.  We need your help! If your company is willing to consider housing a homeless military veteran, please click on the below link and complete the online form.

The form asks you to indicate screening criteria your company would be willing to waive. AATC will compile a list of properties willing to consider housing homeless military veterans and share this list with CFW and the TCHC.

A TCHC case manager will contact you about available units.

Please click on the following link and complete the form:

https://aatcnet.wufoo.com/forms/z1rymmqy0avtrpe/

Numerous AATC members (myself included) are military veterans or have family and close friends that have served.  We know first-hand the sacrifices that veterans and their families make.  More importantly, we know skills and character traits that are instilled in military service:  duty, honor, discipline, hard work, courage, confidence, follow-through, team-work, preparedness, promptness, etc.

Veterans from all branches like to say we are “squared away”. Everything is alright.  But for some former Tarrant County soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen, their current situation is far from ideal.  Whether it is dealing with post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), battling addictions, overcoming health-related concerns, or coping with life-changing issues, some military veterans find themselves and their families homeless.

Like all homelessness, some veterans are without shelter for a short period and some face long-term housing needs. Either way, they need our help.  AATC’s and our community partners’ goal is to make homelessness in Tarrant County short-term and non-recurring.

The 2018 AATC Lyceum class under Cayce Coon’s (Madera Residential) and Anita Hord’s (Pace Realty) leadership initiated this program.  Big thank you to Mary Margaret Lemons, Fort Worth Housing Solutions; Jinger Lane, Lincoln Property Company; Sandy Garza, Greystar; and Jackie Cagle, Rasa Floors, for putting this effort on sound footing. I was honored to be part of this Lyceum class.

AATC Past President Sherry Jordan asked Cayce to lead a task force to implement the Lyceum class’s recommendations.  This task force was so successful that AATC President Nicolle Block formed a Veterans Housing Committee and graciously asked me to lead it. I’m humbled and honored to do so.

My company, WAK Management, participates is numerous veterans housing initiatives.  We have been very pleased with both the program and the residents It has been a tremendous experience and a privilege.  I personally recommend housing military veterans.

Fort Worth and Tarrant County have deep military roots.  As the name indicates, Fort Worth was established as a military outpost in 1849 overlooking the bluffs of the Trinity River and is named after General William Worth. Tarrant County was named for General Edward Tarrant.

Apartment Association of Tarrant County — military service is in our name and in our DNA!

As a military veteran and AATC’s Veterans Housing Committee Chair, thanks for your assistance in this community-wide effort.

For more information, contact Perry Pillow at ppillow@aatcnet.org