Matt Leslie Receives the Community Connector Award at the Homeward 11th Annual Conference on Best Practices to Prevent and End Homelessness
-Award recognizes contributions in the Richmond Continuum of Care for ending veteran homelessness-
Matt Leslie, Director of Housing Development, with the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) has been awarded the first Community Connector Award by Homeward in recognition of his efforts in building partnerships and increasing coordination in ending veteran homelessness in the Richmond Continuum of Care.
The award was presented at Homeward’s 11th Annual Conference on Best Practices to Prevent and End Homelessness on June 19, 2017 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
“Matt Leslie embodies the ideal of community connections,” said Kelly King Horne, Executive Director of Homeward. “He helps us to build and maintain relationships, brokers partnerships, translates systems of care, and expands the resources available for this critical work—all in the name of veterans experiencing homelessness.”
Receipt of the Community Connector Award highlights VDVS’s efforts to build and sustain partnerships and coordinated systems between federal, state, and community partners to ensure that veteran homelessness in the state is rare, brief, and non-recurring. These collaborative efforts have resulted in 581 veterans experiencing homelessness being placed in permanent housing from October 2014 – April 2017 in the Richmond Continuum of Care.
Homeward is a backbone agency in a regional collective effort to end homelessness. Homeward’s mission is to prevent, reduce, and end homelessness by facilitating creative solutions through the collaboration, coordination, and cooperation of regional resources and services. Since its inception in 1998, Homeward’s role has included data collection and needs assessments, coalition management, building strategic partnerships, and building the capacity of our regional crisis response system to ensure that homelessness in Greater Richmond is brief, rare, and nonrecurring.
About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services
The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) operates 28 benefit offices that assist veterans and their family members in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; two long-term care facilities offering nursing, assisted living, and domiciliary care for veterans, and three veterans cemeteries that provide an honored final resting place for veterans and their families. VDVS provides veterans and family members with direct linkages to needed services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education, and other programs. The Department also operates the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s monument to honor the memory of Virginia’s men and women who demonstrated a willingness to serve and fight to defend our way of life from World War II to the present.