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May 10, 2012

Jake Maguire's picture Posted By Jake Maguire

Got Your 6: Teaming Up with the Entertainment Industry to Support Homeless Veterans

One of the first registry weeks of our 100,000 Homes Campaign took place in Hollywood, CA. At the time, we knew we had to get out on the streets and proactively discover who was homeless, but we were all still learning what the process ought to look like. Would homeless people really respond to personal questions about their health? Would enough volunteers show up to participate? Volunteers with Hollywood4WRD made a bold bet that identifying their homeless neighbors by name and learning more about them would help them raise money, engage the public and begin to find permanent homes for the most vulnerable. The bet paid off big-time.

Today, there’s more bold leadership coming out of Hollywood, this time from the entertainment industry.
 
This month, in a powerful show of support for veterans and military families, 100,000 Homes Campaign Director Becky Kanis joined celebrities, representatives from nearly every major Hollywood production studio, broadcast and cable network, talent agency, and guild in the entertainment industry and leaders from some of America’s most extraordinary non-profit organizations to launch the Got Your 6 campaign, a major new effort to support veterans and foster opportunities for them to contribute their unique skills and abilities in communities across the country.
 

 
The term, “got your six,” refers to the six o’clock position at the rear of a military formation. In military slang, it means something akin to, “I’ve got your back.” The Got Your 6 campaign is about having our veterans’ backs, those returning home and those who completed their service long ago, but it’s also about recognizing the unique contributions they are prepared to make in our society and in our communities. Got Your Six aims to support and empower veterans around six pillars of reintegration, each led by a different national non-profit.
 
The 100,000 Homes Campaign, including all 121 participating communities, is thrilled to be leading the Got Your Six housing pillar. We are also thrilled to be partnering in this effort with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). At this month's launch event, together with these government groups, the Campaign announced a formal commitment to help communities find permanent homes for 10,000 chronically homeless veterans by July of 2014. At that moment, every community participating in the Campaign became a full and invaluable partner in this major, national effort! This commitment is the backbone of our work with Got Your 6 and is officially registered with the Clinton Global Initiative. Needless to say, we intend to make good on it!
 
To make sure we succeed, we have already begun working with VA to integrate the efforts of regional VA sites and hospitals with leaders from participating 100,000 Homes organizations across the country. We’ve also collaborated with VA, HUD, USICH, Chase, the Starr Foundation and many others to launch a series of three major training events called Rapid Results Boot Camps. These two-day events are designed to help communities set ambitious goals and kick off groundbreaking, collaborative efforts to house as many homeless veterans as possible in just 100 days.
 
Through our work with Got Your 6, we are excited to raise awareness of veteran homelessness and welcome new allies to the fight against it. You can already see some familiar faces (does the name Tom Hanks ring a bell?) supporting Got Your 6 at the effort’s Facebook page! 
 
Finally, through Got Your Six, we are thrilled to be working alongside some of the most effective and well-known non-profits and veteran advocacy groups in the country— groups like Blue Star Families, the Pat Tillman Foundation and The Mission Continues. You can see a full list of participating organizations and learn more about Got Your Six by visiting the effort’s website!

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