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Welcome to the Five Star Veterans Center
Many veterans stay at the center, which has space for 40 men and 12 to 15 women. The center takes referrals from a wide variety of veterans affairs organizations
"The Five STAR Veterans Center believes it is now our turn for the ultimate call to duty... that of giving back to this great nation by serving veterans in need, and by defending the promise that is America."
The article that appeared in the 9 June 2014 issue of the Florida Times Union made it appear that Five STAR Veterans Center is in negotiations to be acquired by a Texas organization. It intimated that Five STAR was weak, vulnerable.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
We are committed to our veterans who come to us for help to reestablish independent living. We follow the model recommended by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans of veterans serving veterans.
The article in the Florida Times Union identified several issues that must be clarified:
• Neither Warrior City nor its CEO, Jerry Schaffer are authorized to speak for the Five STAR Veterans Center. Mr Shaffer has been put on notice that neither he nor Warrior City is to represent themselves as an agent of Five STAR Veterans Center.
• The Five STAR Veterans Center has no intention of merging with or being acquired by any organization. To the contrary we are expanding our program, garnering regional and national attention and receiving increasing support. For example, on June 4, 2014 the Home Depot Foundation brought in more than 300 volunteers from across the country and renovated our facility and grounds as part of their national projects.
The Board of Directors of Five STAR Veteran Center is strong and growing stronger and are unified as to the direction of the organization. The Board has the utmost confidence in Colonel Len Loving and his leadership role at the Center.
The staff of Five STAR is lean and mission driven, ensuring the residents have what they need for success.
Five STAR Veterans Center has helped 68 homeless veterans complete the “Passport to Independence” program, secure employment and permanent housing since operations began in March 2012. Currently there are an additional 22 residents enrolled in our program and living at the Center.
In the past year, the year in which we were described as having failed, we provided:
• 16,324 meals to residents and 200 to nonresidents who dropped in for referral services around meal times.
• 486 round trips to medical appointments for residents.
• 240 round trips to job interviews and job fairs.
• 267 V.A. benefits assessments to veterans.
• Intake and assessments for 14 veterans referred to the Center by the Duval and Clay County Veterans Treatment Courts.
• 6,720 days of housing to veterans.
Mr. Keith Maynard, Major Peter Jennison and Judge David Carstetter remain on the board. Our new Board members are: Mr. Dayton Warfle, Bank of America; Mr. Barrett Scruggs, CitiBank; Mr. Michael Atter, Attorney, Wood Atter; Ms. Lucy Ann Wiggins Hoover, Florida Coastal School of Law, and Michael Hightower,. Florida Blue.
In April of 2013, we had fewer than 30 individual donors. We have increased the total number of individual donors to 379.
Since January 2014, we have leveraged $583,960 in volunteer hours provided by more than 450 volunteers, in kind gifts, materials and services.
And here is where you can make a difference. Stand with us and show our city that Five STAR Veterans Center is a locally owned, locally supported grassroots organization dedicated to helping homeless veterans return to independent living.
As proof of our continuing success, we have been the grateful recipients of support in Jacksonville by major individual and corporate investors like the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Veterans Emergency and Transition Services Fund at the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, the Jaguar Foundation, the Jim Jacobs Foundation, Bank of America, Citibank, the Fraternal Order of Police, The Home Depot Foundation, Magic Chef, the Knights of Columbus and a host of veterans organizations. In addition, the people of Jacksonville have donated generously with their time, money, and assets.
Don’t just take our word for it. Listen to the voices of our residents at Five STAR…..
“My brother came home from Afghanistan and killed himself. I was on my way to do the same thing. The Lovings and the Center saved my life.” Spec. James W. Heeter
“They took me in, put clothes on my back, food in my belly and a bed to lay my head on every night…I have been able to re-start my life, only due to the Five Star Veterans Center.” Sgt. Richard Kendall Hobbs
“As a 3 combat tour Marine veteran, I faced issues with drugs, divorce, PTSD and could not hold a job. I am now in school and help at the center. Without Col. Loving, Mrs. Loving and the staff at Five STAR, I would still be lost or maybe even dead.” Lance Corporal Patrick Petty
Your investment in Five Star has demonstrated that you are as committed as we are to the future of our veterans and the Greater Jacksonville community and that we are a military and veteran friendly city. We thank you for ensuring that Five STAR continues the mission.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We believe in transparency and will do everything we can to answer your questions.
Better yet, stop by and visit the center any time. Meet the staff and the residents and see for yourself.
Keith Maynard, Esq. Len Loving
Major, Maryland Army National Guard Colonel of the Marines, Retired
President, Board of Directors Chief Executive Officers
Five STAR Veterans Center