Jobs Program Gives Once-Homeless Philadelphia Veterans A Brighter Future

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two local institutions teamed up today to celebrate the success of a program that returns formerly homeless veterans to fulltime employment and all the benefits that brings.

Today was graduation day for seven military veterans who completed the program.

“We stand before you all, either employed or furthering our education,” said James Sauls (seated far left), former US Army, giving the valedictory speech for the Veterans Training and Employment Program, an effort of Project HOME, supported by Peco.

The ten-month program puts veterans in an internship and gives them a mentor and extra training, and is proof, says director Ed Speedling, that veteran homelessness is not an intractable problem.

“You achieve what you believe in, and you achieve what you work hard for,” he says.

Some of the men overcame addiction while going through the program, some moved from shelter to permanent housing.  Andy Saxon (seated, third from right) learned Spanish during his internship at Ceiba and is graduating to a job at the zoo.

“It means a sense of accomplishment and a sense of pride, completing something that I started, all the way to the end,” he said today.

Read the recent KYW Regional Affairs Council series, “Coming Home: Are WE Ready?”

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  • Comedian, Actor and Activist Lily Tomlin Receives 2012 Golden Heart Award | H.O.M.E. Word - A blog from Project H.O.M.E.

    […] Speaking at the luncheon, a recent graduate of the internship program, Stanford Broadwater, Jr (pictured above with Tomlin) – who formerly served our country as a United States Marine Corps Sergeant – credited the program with not only giving him important job skills, but also helping him reconnect with his family, friends and take on personal obligations that he had previously shirked. Broadwater and six other program participants recently gathered to celebrate their graduation – and their newly-secured employment. PECO, an Exelon subsidiary, was so impressed with the 100 percent success rate they presented a check to Project H.O.M.E. to ensure continued funding for the program. (Read more about the graduation here.) […]

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