About 300 veterans from several organizations will stage a protest in front of the Veteran Affairs Hospital in Miami Tuesday morning.
“The purpose of the rally is to call attention to the veterans who are homeless and to the veterans returning from wars who are not receiving their benefits,” said Charles Buford, founder of Make A Wish Veterans, a Miami organization that assists veterans.
The protest kicks off at 10 a.m. in front of the VA hospital at 1201 NW 16th St, which is in the vicinity of Jackson Memorial Hospital. It will last for about two hours.
“Too many veterans who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are not aware that they are entitled to a housing certificate that would guarantee up to $30,000 of a mortgage,” Buford said.
“Also, the homeless program at the VA is non-existant.”
Buford said his organization has secured buildings that could house up to 80 homeless veterans but the VA refuses to give them the Section 8 vouchers that would enable them to turn this structure into housing for veterans.
“They are continuing to place our veterans in harm’s way,” he said.
At least two homeless veterans were murdered while living on the streets in Miami since November. Others have died of natural causes while living on the streets. Make A Wish Veterans has been trying raise funds to give these veterans a proper burial.
Veterans for Peace, Veterans for Democracy and several local American Legion posts will also join the protest, he said.