Volunteers of America Celebrates Grand Opening of Oscar J. Tolmas Veterans Center
New Orleans, LA (April 13, 2016) – Supporters and affiliates of Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans gathered today for a dedication ceremony commemorating the opening of the Oscar J. Tolmas Veterans Center. Located in Uptown New Orleans at 3801 Pitt Street, the facility provides transitional housing and rehabilitation services for 20 homeless Veterans in the Greater New Orleans area.
"Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans is literally helping to rebuild the lives of our country's heroes. We are proud to say that the vast majority – more than 78 percent – of Veterans served by our Transitional Housing program successfully regain their stability and self-sufficiency," says Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans President and CEO Jim LeBlanc.
Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans currently has three programs to assist Veterans: Transitional Housing for Homeless Veterans, Supportive Services for Veterans, and Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (Job Readiness/Placement for Veterans). The Transitional Housing program, which encompasses the Oscar J. Tolmas Veterans Center, is for homeless male Veterans referred by the Veterans Administration. The program provides access to housing, along with the full continuum of rehabilitation services offered to Veterans by Volunteers of America, including substance abuse and mental health counseling, educational services, comprehensive employment training and placement, permanent housing placement, and supportive services for Veterans' families.
The Veterans Services programs of Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans were instrumental in accomplishing Mayor Mitch Landrieu's challenge to end Veteran homelessness. The addition of the Oscar J. Tolmas Veterans Center enables the organization to better assist the city in its efforts to maintain Veteran homelessness at "functional zero" – meaning that newly discovered homeless Veterans are provided with housing within just days of their discovery.
"The Veterans Center is a true testament to Mr. Tolmas' legacy and his love for our country's servicemen," says Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust Trustee Vincent Giardina. "This facility's namesake, Oscar J. Tolmas, was a WWII Veteran, businessman, attorney and real estate developer who, upon his death in 2013, left his entire estate to the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust so that it would benefit the mission of local charities," adds Lisa Romano, Trustee.
The Oscar J. Tolmas Veterans Center was made possible by generous contributions from the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust, the Home Depot Foundation, the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation, the Ella West Freeman Foundation, the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, the AlMar Foundation, the Libby-Dufour Fund, and the Albert N. and Hattie M. McClure Fund.
For more information about Volunteers of America's Veteran programs, please visit www.voagno.org.
Volunteers of America is a national, nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Since 1896, our ministry of service has supported and empowered America's most vulnerable groups, including at-risk youth, the frail elderly, men returning from prison, people with disabilities, and those recovering from addictions. Our work touches the mind, body, heart-and ultimately the spirit-of those we serve, integrating our deep compassion with highly effective programs and services.