FBI Presents 2013 Director’s Community Leadership Award to U.S. VETS Initiative in Las Vegas
|FBI Las Vegas October 30, 2013|
Laura A. Bucheit, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Las Vegas Field Office has selected U.S. VETS-Las Vegas as the 2013 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) recipient. SAC Bucheit presented the commemorative award to Executive Director Shalimar Cabrera during the U.S. Vets Advisory Board luncheon on Friday, October 25th, 2013.
U.S. VETS is the nation’s largest non-profit provider of comprehensive services to homeless and at-risk veterans. The mission of the organization is the successful transition of military veterans and their families through the provision of housing, counseling, career development, and comprehensive support. The organization’s operating site in Nevada is U.S. VETS-Las Vegas, which opened in September 2001 and provides homeless prevention and rapid re-housing to veterans with families, employment assistance, training within a residential back-to-work program, permanent housing for veterans with disabilities, and long-term supportive housing for veterans with income. U.S. VETS-Las Vegas also provides sobriety support for veterans with substance abuse issues, assistance to non-custodial fathers, and re-entry services to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan finding it difficult to adjust to civilian life.
Per U.S. VETS-Las Vegas, the last Homeless Census and Survey revealed that there were 7,355 homeless people in Southern Nevada living on the streets, under bridges, and in emergency shelters. It reports that 12 percent (866) were veterans who have valiantly served our country. Since opening, the organization has expanded to two residential facilities, plus a third location for its administrative and external programs. The organization operates over 300 beds of housing for veterans, plus it serves an additional 240 veteran families in homeless prevention and rapid re-housing.
In March 2013, U.S. VETS-Las Vegas hosted the 10th Annual Veterans Stand Down. A total of 128 agencies and over 500 volunteers came together for the event to assist homeless and at-risk veterans in Las Vegas. The event facilitated long-term solutions to veterans by supplying meals and resources such as medical and dental services, legal advice, court services, clothing, and job opportunities to help them regain independence. A total of 911 veterans were served, which was a 32 percent increase from 2012. Sixteen homeless veterans were provided housing and 17 were hired on the spot.
Since 1990, the FBI has recognized individuals and organizations whose achievements in the terrorism, crime, drug, gang, or violence prevention and education field had an exemplary impact on the community. Each year, the SAC of each FBI field office selects an individual or organization that has made a major contribution in these areas.
Ms. Cabrera will be invited to attend a presentation early next year in Washington, D.C., where FBI Director James Comey will present a formal award to U.S. VETS-Las Vegas and other recipients from across the country.