If you attend the National Conference on Ending Homelessness this week, you’ll meet the newest member of our staff Ian Lisman, Senior Program and Policy Analyst on Veterans Homelessness. And if you can’t join us, you can learn a little about him here.
Hello, my name is Ian Lisman, I’m the newest staff member at the National Alliance to End Homelessness. I am working here as the new Senior Program and Policy Analyst on Veterans Homelessness (try saying that three times fast!).
In all seriousness it is an honor and a privilege to be working here at the Alliance.
Before coming to the Alliance I worked in Denver, Colorado as a case manager, then program coordinator/director, for the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) grant with the Denver Department of Human Services (DDHS) for the City and County of Denver. I have a degree in Human Services with a concentration in counseling and mental health.
Veterans are disproportionally represented among homeless people and this is a national disgrace, especially considering our country is engaged in several ongoing military conflicts. There will be many more service members returning from combat to civilian life with many challenges facing them (fewer job prospects, family issues, mental and physical health issues, etc.). Ending up on the streets should not be one of those issues.
The Alliance has already sent me to the “front lines” of ending veteran homelessness. Fewer than three weeks in and I’ve already met with VA officials, Hill staffers, DOL representatives, think tanks, and other community providers working on ending homelessness.
I have a special place in my heart for my brothers and sisters in arms. I served in the U.S. Army and am a combat veteran of the first Gulf War. I am a member of the Human Services Honor Society, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
The new emphasis by the current administration to end homelessness, especially homelessness among veterans, gives me hope that our country can come together on this issue. VA Secretary Shinseki stated: “President Obama and I are personally committed to ending homelessness among Veterans within the next five years. Those who have served this nation as Veterans should never find themselves on the streets, living without care and without hope.”
I agree wholeheartedly.
I look forward to doing my part to ensure that we achieve that goal and look towards a day when all veterans can return to a safe, stable place to call home.