VA Homeless Veterans Program Virtual Editorial Roundtables - VA Homeless Programs
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VA Homeless Programs


VA Homeless Veterans Program Virtual Editorial Roundtables

September 10, 2015, 2–3 p.m. EST

This roundtable focused on the renewal of Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grants, which are provided to nonprofits that deliver stable housing and supportive services to Veterans exiting homelessness

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  • John Kuhn (Moderator), SSVF program director
  • Leon Winston, chief operating officer and housing director, Swords to Plowshares
  • Chela Sullivan Schuster, director, strategic housing resources, United Methodist Outreach Ministries (UMOM) New Day Centers

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Presenter Biographies

John KuhnJohn Kuhn is the Director of the SSVF program, VA’s homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing initiative. Prior to working with SSVF, Mr. Kuhn authored the VA’s CHALENG Report, a community assessment on the needs of homeless Veterans. Earlier in his career he led VA’s homeless programs in New Jersey, developing innovative employment, housing and treatment services for which he was nationally recognized with Mutual of America’s Community Partnership Medal, and acknowledged by the former Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee who had the Flag of The United States flown over the Capitol in his honor. Mr. Kuhn has a Bachelor’s from Brown University, a Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University and a Master’s in Public Health from Rutgers University. He has been working with the homeless community for over 25 years.

Leon WinstonLeon Winston is the chief operating officer and housing director of Swords to Plowshares, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that has been providing an array of programs and services to low-income and homeless Bay Area Veterans since 1974. A formerly homeless Navy Veteran, Mr. Winston was referred to Swords to Plowshares by the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and entered its transitional housing program in 1993. He came to work for Swords to Plowshares in August 1995, a few months after completing that program. He has his master’s degree in nonprofit administration/organizational development and a bachelor’s in public administration from the University of San Francisco. He also has a certification in Alcohol & Drug Abuse Studies from U.C. Berkeley.

Chela Sullivan SchusterChela Sullivan Schuster is the director of Strategic Housing Resources for United Methodist Outreach Ministries (UMOM) New Day Centers, the largest shelter for homeless families in Arizona. Among her responsibilities, Ms. Schuster designs and implements UMOM’s rapid re-Housing and SSVF programs. UMOM has been an SSVF grant since 2011 and a mentor agency for the program since 2012. Ms. Schuster also oversees the Maricopa County coordinated entry process for families seeking homeless services at the county family housing hub. Ms. Schuster holds a master’s in nonprofit studies from Arizona State University.

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