Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana Renames Veterans Pavilion to Honor Oscar J. Tolmas
Supporters and affiliates of Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana gathered on Tuesday, November 13, to commemorate Veterans Day and rename the Veterans Transitional Housing Facility in honor of Oscar J. Tolmas, a lifelong resident of New Orleans and WWII veteran. A $1 million donation from the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust is making it possible for Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana to continue to provide — and enhance — critical services to vulnerable veterans in the New Orleans community for years to come.
“We are thrilled to be able to honor the legacy of the late Oscar J. Tolmas and his love for our country’s servicemen by supporting valuable veterans’ programs such as this,” said President of the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust Vince Giardina. “We partnered with Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana to support the organization’s efforts to ease the transition into civilian life for the men and women who bravely protect our country by helping to find them housing and jobs.”
The celebration event featured a check presentation, unveiling of a building plaque honoring Oscar J. Tolmas and remarks by the following individuals: President of the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust Vince Giardiana, Veteran Services Program Director Gerald Rooks, Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana Board Chair Geoff Artigues, Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana Board Member Fred H. Myers and Navy Veteran and Pavilion Resident Stanley Williams.
Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana President and CEO Jim Leblanc stated, “This generous donation from the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust will allow our organization to continue to provide critical programming for veterans and their families for years to come.”
The Oscar J. Tolmas Veterans Pavilion at 1002 Napoleon Ave. provides 36 beds for homeless veterans, which enables Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana to assist the city in its efforts to maintain veteran homelessness at “functional zero” — meaning that newly discovered homeless veterans are provided with housing within days of their discovery. In addition, the Veterans Pavilion provides a full continuum of rehabilitation services, including substance abuse/mental health counseling, educational services, comprehensive employment training and placement, permanent housing placement and supportive services for veteran families.
For more than 25 years, Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana has been a leader in addressing homelessness in the New Orleans area, and the organization has been recognized locally, statewide and nationally for its work with homeless veterans. For more information about Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana’s veteran programs, visit www.voasela.org/veteran-services.