College Football Coaches Join Fight to End Veteran Homelessness
Pittsburgh, PA – November 4, 2011 - Today marks the second anniversary of the 2009 announcement by Secretary of Veteran Affairs Eric Shinseki calling on every American to join him in ending homelessness among our military veteran population. Accordingly, the most prestigious Head Football Coaches in the Midwest, along with a group of equally prominent Letterwinners Associations, today kick off an unprecedented effort to make their states the first in the nation to end veteran homelessness.
Led by Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz and running through Dec. 31st of this year, the first “Letterwinners Challenge” is a competition among Varsity Alumni Clubs to raise the most money for non-profits in their state that help homeless veterans address their issues and reclaim their lives. Alumni, sports fans and state residents can all join in putting their favorite Association’s name atop the final scoreboard standings.
Proceeds will be distributed throughout the region by The Feed My Sheep Association’s Homeless Veterans Project (HVP). The HVP pro bono Board of Directors includes Coach Ferentz, Penn State Assistant AD Fran Ganter, and Craig Dunaway, recent past President of the Michigan Letterwinners M Club and coordinator of “The Challenge.”
“It is a great honor to have the Football Coaches and Varsity Alumni Clubs support this unprecedented effort to turn the region’s sports rivalries into a competition to address this serious issue,” said Dunaway. “The initial “Letterwinners Challenge” will be the first step in making our Coaches and Associations the nationally recognized leader in responding to Secretary Shinseki’s call to end veteran homelessness.”
Estimates of the number of homeless vets vary, but a recent HUD/VA report to Congress indicated roughly 145,000 veterans across the nation experienced homelessness last year. Funds raised will be used to provide new emergency, transitional or permanent housing for vets in need throughout the Midwest, and also in support of programs designed to prevent veteran homelessness.
Public Service Announcements featuring the participating Coaches promoting “The Challenge” will be aired on BTN, formerly The Big Ten Network.
Further information is available at www.homelessvetsproject.org.