MARTINSBURG, W.Va. The Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) has taken action to prepare for the anticipated record breaking cold weather forecasted for Monday, Jan. 6 and Tuesday, Jan. 7. The acting medical center director, Timothy J. Cooke, has activated "Operation Veteran's Respite."
Any Veteran and family members in need of shelter should call the National Homeless Hotline at 877-424-3838 to receive help.
The Martinsburg VAMC has set up a reception area as of 1 p.m. Sunday in support of this important operation. Veterans and family members needing shelter can report to the emergency department at 510 Butler Avenue, in Martinsburg or call the toll free number for transportation.
"The mission of this operation is to provide a warm, safe environment for homeless Veterans and their families under a humanitarian basis during this extreme cold weather event. The medical center will be providing food, warm showers and medical care if needed." Cooke said.
If you or someone you know is a homeless Veteran and is in need of a warm place to sleep and a hot meal, please call 1-877-424-3838.
On any given night, there are an estimated 100,000 Veterans on the streets, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki said. "Those who have served this nation as Veterans should never find themselves on the streets, living without care and without hope." The Secretary has set a goal, to end Veteran homelessness by 2015.
For more information on Veteran Homelessness, visit the VA Homeless Veterans website at www.va.gov/homeless