Hard work of one individual nearly eliminates homelessness for Brevard County veterans
Constitutional officers and other elected officials know to answer when George Taylor calls them seeking help for homeless and needy veterans.
That’s in part because they have learned that Taylor is relentless when it comes to seeking support for veterans. Now, when Taylor needs their support, he gets it. When he calls, they respond.
Taylor is the founder and chairman of National Veterans Homeless Support (NVHS), a Brevard-based non-profit organization that has assisted veterans on the Space Coast and beyond. The organization was founded in 2008 with the goal of eliminating homelessness among veterans in Central Florida. It relies on donations from corporations, organizations and individuals to carry out its programs.
Taylor and his team of volunteers search out the homeless veterans, try to get them into housing or other help they need. For those who will not come in from the woods, NVHS provides them with supplies, sleeping bags, tents, clothes and food. It also operates several transitional homes while it helps the veterans find jobs and make their way back into self sufficiency.
It usually finds them shelter or gets them into a motel during cold nights. During Christmas weekend, Taylor had a group of the homeless stay at a motel in Titusville. Once there, they were provided with supplies and presents.
The elected officials, mainly the five constitutional officers in Brevard, are sold on the work that Taylor does and they support him without hesitation. Elected and other governmental officials often are present at events to help homeless veterans in Brevard.
“First and foremost, he garnered the support of law enforcement, specifically the sheriff’s office,” said Dana Blickley, Brevard County Property Appraiser. “The other three (Elections Supervisor Lori Scott, Tax Collector Lisa Cullen and Clerk of Courts Scott Ellis) were already veteran minded.”
The group comes together to help. One major event in which the constitutional officers partner with each other and NVHS is to hold the Annual Rescuing Veterans Lost in America Dinner to raise funds to help homeless veterans.
“They support our veterans,” said Taylor, a Vietnam veteran who once found himself homeless. “We have accomplished so much. We get it done together.”
When the NVHS started nearly a decade ago, there were about 1,200 homeless veterans in the county. Taylor said there are now fewer than 60 in Brevard.
NVHS along with the work of other organizations in Brevard, such as Volunteers of America and the Brevard Homeless Coalition, continue to work toward eliminating homelessness.
“We all partner with these organizations that can help get the work done,” Taylor said. “I won’t quit until its zero.”
Now that the homeless population in Brevard has been reduced, NVHS is also working to help prevent other needy veterans from becoming homeless.
For more on NVHS, go to www.nvhs.us.