Submitted by the office of Councilor Arroyo
Boston, MA - Following the commemoration of Veterans Day throughout the nation, Boston City Councilors Felix G. Arroyo and Salvatore LaMattina held a hearing and resource fair on Monday to make sure Boston veterans have all the necessary tools to facilitate their reintegration into civilian life and that they are provided with a safe and healthy environment upon returning home.
"Our veterans have served our country and it is our responsibility to serve them when they come back home," stated City Councilor At-Large Felix G. Arroyo. "Our veterans should come back to housing, health care, and employment opportunities."
"I am deeply concerned about veterans protecting our country and serving overseas. As Chairman of the City, Neighborhood Services & Veterans Affairs Committee, their transition back home is extremely important to me," said City Councilor Salvatore LaMattina.
According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national percentage of unemployment among veterans ages 18-24 is nearly 30% while the rate for non-veterans of the same age is less than 18%. Additionally, one out of every three homeless adults is a veteran.
Representatives from close to 20 different veteran organizations including the City of Boston Veterans Services, VA Hospital, Helmets to Hard Hats, and the New England Center for Homeless Vets attended the hearing and resource fair to cover issues facing our returning heroes including employment, housing, and mental health issues.
Richie Eckler, Northeast Field Representative of Helmets to Hard Hats discussed the importance of the hearing and bringing all organizations serving veterans together. At the last hearing on veterans services held by Councilor Arroyo and LaMattina, Eckler said they were able to help another organization to retrofit a home for a returning veteran who lost his limbs in combat.
"We decided to create a resource fair in addition to the hearing this year so that veterans could get the information and help they needed right on the spot," said Councilor Arroyo. "It is important that not only on Veterans Day, but every day of the year we show respect to our veterans by ensuring they have the services they need and deserve."