Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has joined a Kansas City-based nonprofit aimed at reducing homelessness among the nation’s veterans.
“Veterans’ homelessness is a national crisis, so I’m proud to join an organization that has created a model to end it,” Kander, 38, said in a statement. “By expanding nationally, our goal is for VCP to both end veterans’ homelessness and help millions of other veterans get the services they’ve earned.”
A former Army intelligence officer who served in Afghanistan, Kander had launched a bid for Kansas City mayor but withdrew from the race last fall to focus on his mental health. He said he suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“When I decided to suspend my political career and seek treatment for PTSD, Veterans Community Project was there to help me through the process. Like they’ve done for thousands of veterans, VCP made sure I got the services I needed,” Kander said.
In its expansion, VCP plans to create what it calls a “VCP Village” and a “Veteran Outreach Center,” according to a news release.
“When I decided to suspend my political career and seek treatment for PTSD, Veterans Community Project was there to help me through the process. Like they’ve done for thousands of veterans, VCP made sure I got the services I needed.”
The VCP Villages will establish a community of tiny homes with onsite services for veterans as an effort to transition individuals to more permanent housing. The villages will be tailor-made to fit veterans’ needs while also providing stable support.
The Veteran Outreach Centers will serve as a “one-stop-shop” walk-in center with free services for veterans to address any type of need, VCP said.
Already, the nonprofit has constructed a village of nearly 50 tiny homes where veterans can live rent-free in the Kansas City area until he or she finds a permanent home. Along with housing, VCP also provides help with finding work and receiving medical care.
“We’re proud that our success in Kansas City will allow us to expand nationally, and we are excited to have Jason Kander on the team to help us accomplish our goal of ending veterans’ homelessness nationwide,” VCP co-founder and CEO Bryan Meyer said.
Prior to serving as Missouri’s secretary of state, Kander served in the General Assembly as a Democrat where he was a member of the House Budget Committee; he was also appointed to the Missouri Veterans Commission, which oversees all services for those in the state who have served in the military.
Additionally, Kander launched Let America Vote, a political action organization aimed at eliminating voter suppression.
Be more than thankful to our veterans. Be involved. Please consider donating: https://t.co/XBXsUeAPFX
— Jason Kander (@JasonKander) July 15, 2019
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a reporter with The Missouri Times and The Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the newspaper in 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City. Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S. and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa. She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. Contact Kaitlyn at email@example.com.