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24th March
2011
written by Catherine An

We’re just the messenger on this one – but for more information or for the application form, please email us.

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Homeless Veterans Initiative Office is seeking nominations for the 2011 Secretary Award for Outstanding Achievement in Service for Homeless Veterans. This award program recognizes the achievement of individuals, teams, and organizations that provide exceptional service to homeless veterans and ending the cycle of homelessness among veterans.

Award nominations must be submitted to Department of Veterans Affairs, Homeless Veteran Initiative Office located at 1722 Eye Street, NW Washington, DC 20421 (Attn: Pete Dougherty) no later than April 22, 2011.

The following is an excerpt of the Award Criteria as released by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Service for Homeless Veterans

Purpose: The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding achievements of individuals, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees, VA organizations, and partners including but not limited to veteran service organizations, businesses, community and faith-based organizations that provide exceptional service to homeless Veterans and contribute to breaking the cycle of chronic homelessness among Veterans.

Eligibility: This honor award is intended to recognize individuals, teams, and organizations that provide benefits and services to homeless and formerly homeless Veterans.

Type of Recognition: The Honor award would consist of a certificate presented by the Secretary or designated Senior VA official on site during field visits or at a special ceremony hosted at VACO. The Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs will coordinate for a presentation to be included in the Secretary’s trip packages and be responsible in coordination with local public affairs officers for contacting the appropriate source of local or national media. There is no authority for granting a cash award, or an expensive non-cash award, to a non-Governmental employee or entity.

Criteria: This award program recognizes the achievement of individuals, teams and organizations that provide exceptional service to homeless Veterans and ending the cycle of homelessness among Veterans.

1.) Outstanding Achievement by an Individual VA Employee

Eligibility. Each nominee must be employed by VA and be involved in providing benefits assistance and healthcare and supportive services to homeless or formerly homeless Veterans.

- Nominee displays dedication and competency in providing benefits and services to homeless or formerly homeless Veterans.
- Nominee demonstrates effectiveness in improving and delivering benefits and services to homeless and formerly homeless Veterans.
- Nominee effectively collaborates with other homeless providers both within the VA and with community agencies and organizations.
- Nominee develops and implements strategies to improve the provision of benefits and services to homeless and formerly homeless Veterans.

2.) Outstanding Achievement by a VA Organization

Eligibility. Each nominee must be VA organization involved in providing benefits and services to homeless or formerly homeless Veterans.

- Organization demonstrates effectiveness in improving and delivering benefits and services to homeless and formerly homeless Veterans.
- Organization effectively collaborates with other homeless providers both within the VA and with community agencies and organizations.
- Organization develops and implements strategies to improve the provision of benefits and services to homeless and formerly homeless Veterans.
- Organization has enhanced the visibility and image of VA in providing benefits and services to homeless and formerly homeless Veterans.

3.) Outstanding achievement by a Community Organization

Eligibility. Each nominee must be the employee or organization in recipient of a VA Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem award or an organization currently providing benefits and services to homeless or formerly homeless Veterans.

- Nominee demonstrates effectiveness in improving and delivering benefits and services to homeless and formerly homeless Veterans.
- Nominee effectively collaborates with other homeless providers both within the VA and with community agencies and organizations.
- Develops and implements strategies to improve the provision of benefits and services to homeless and formerly homeless Veterans.

Nomination Process: A working group, chaired by the Director of Homeless Veteran Programs (075) and comprised of representation from Veterans Health Administration, Veterans Benefits Administration, National Cemetery Administration, and VACO Staff Offices knowledgeable of programs and services for the homeless will develop the framework and details of the nominating process. It is anticipated nominations for outstanding achievement by individual VA employees and VA organizations will be made utilizing existing organizational chain of command. The working group will evaluate applications and recommend candidates to receive an award for each category of award based on criteria listed above.

Endorsement from the Under Secretary for Health, Under Secretary for Benefits and the Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs will be obtained prior to forwarding to the Secretary for final approval for employees or organizational elements under their jurisdiction.

Security clearances may be required for VA employees.

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