Veteran Supporters Gather for “Year of the Veteran” Finale Event

PHILADELPHIA, PA –December 13, 2014  To celebrate the resolution that declared 2014 the “Year of the Veteran” in Philadelphia, key proponents of the resolution, City Council members David Oh and Mark Squilla, will be joined by former PA Congressman Patrick Murphy and Executive Director of the Veterans Multi-Service Center Tim Williams to speak on the progress made for veterans in Philadelphia and beyond during this monumental year.

The Year of the Veteran Finale will take place at the Free Library of Philadelphia on December 17th, 2014. The event will highlight and celebrate the accomplishments made to advance the cause of our veterans, as well as raise public awareness of the ongoing initiatives to serve those who have served.


WHO :  Councilman David Oh, Councilman Mark Squilla, Former PA Congressman Patrick Murphy, The Veterans Multi-Service Center Executive Director, Tim Williams

WHAT:   Finale in Celebration of all things accomplished during the “Year of the Veteran”

WHEN:   Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 6:30PM

WHERE:   Free Library of Philadelphia - 1901 Vine Street,Philadelphia, PA 19103

VMC Gives Thanks for Sacred Assembly Church

 Female Vets at Beauty Day Event


As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, the VMC has much to be thankful for, including our many generous supporters that contribute their time, money, and talents to help us serve over 2,500 local veterans each year.


One of these fantastic community partners is The Sacred Assembly Christian Fellowship Church led by Pastor Diane Brisbane.


Since March, Sacred Assembly CFC has hosted 9 separate events at the VMC’s Perimeter Center with as many as 99 veterans attending per event!  Among them are the very popular “Feeding with Love” luncheons, and free barber services that they call “Powercuts and Grooming Days” for our male veterans and “Beauty Days” for our female veterans. The “Beauty Days” invite women to come for hairstyling, facials, and pedicures while the “Powercuts and Grooming” provide an opportunity for a haircut and shave.


While you might not immediately think of “haircuts” as an important need among our Veterans, Pastor Brisbane and Sacred Assembly certainly did. They recognized the value in “looking and feeling good” and transferred their women’s ministry mission of “giving beauty for ashes” into events that not only offer a free service but also extend encouragement and empowerment to our veterans. And it must be working. With each event, we have seen an increase in participation, allowing us to reach more and more of our nation’s heroes.


This Thanksgiving, VMC is ever grateful for supporters like Sacred Assembly Christian Fellowship Church who have joined in our mission to “serve those who have served”.


About Sacred Assembly Christian Fellowship Church -- founded by Pastor Diane Brisbane, Sacred Assembly Christian Fellowship Church is located in the heart of Philadelphia. Known its missionary work, community feedings and outreach services, one mission is to give Beauty for Ashes.  201 North 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-750-1088


About VMC’s Perimeter Center -- opened in the spring of 2000, the Perimeter provides a full spectrum of services to homeless Veterans.  The premise of the Perimeter is to define a boundary of defense for our Veterans, separating the safe from the unsafe.  Located in VMC Headquarters in Center City Philadelphia, over 16,000 homeless Veteran client visits are recorded annually.  


'#Rewrite the cardboard' campaign highlights Philly's formerly homeless vets


By Laura Benshoff,


Seeking to "flip the script" on homelessness the Veterans Multi-Service Center is encouraging "upwardly mobile" vets to share success stories through a social media campaign. It's called #RewriteTheCardboard, referring to the cardboard signs homeless people hold up asking for money.

Anthony Procaccini is one "success story" in progress. His family had been sleeping on friends' couches when his fiancee contacted VMC. "I have a low-paying job, [so] it was hard for me to come up with a security deposit," said Procaccini, who also has a seven-month old son. VMC helped Procaccini and his family get permanent housing in Upper Darby. "They're helping me get a better job," said Procaccini, who has construction experience but currently works the counter at a gas station.

He said he didn't feel prepared to transition out of the service in 1998. "You don't leave with any job skills except for how to shoot a rifle 500 to 1,000 feet.  Maybe I should have thought of that when I was 18," he said.

Procaccini is one of around 500 vets and their families placed into permanent housing each year by the VMC. In addition to the 50,000 veterans who are homeless on a given night, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1.4 million more veterans like Procaccini are at risk of losing housing.

Breaking the cycle

VMC Board president Mustafa Rashed, who served in the US Navy during the 1990s (and serendipitously lived at the same base as Procaccini, they discovered), said the group works to provide vets with everything they need to build up a safety net and avoid ending up on the street. Support in housing, job training and placement help veterans "sustain what they've been given." That way, "they stay in [the system]."

VMC receives grant money from the US Department of Veterans Affairs to serve low-income veterans.

That can mean anything from chasing down discharge papers to changing the perception of veterans. Rashed said the familiar image of a veteran "with a sign that says 'I'll work for food' or something" should be turned on its head and replaced with a message of progress. "We're just taking something that's already out there and flipping it and saying this is what we think we can do with veterans," said Rashed.

View the complete article online here.

John DeBella supports the VMC once again this Thanksgiving!

We cannot wait to welcome one of our greatest supporters this Thanksgiving, John DeBella! Read the excerpt from article in the Metro about how the radio host will support our veterans!

Radio Host Readies for Turkey Drop

by AD Amorosi on

"On Tuesday, Nov. 25, between 6 and 9 a.m., the on-air personality and his partners, City Team Philadelphia, will broadcast live from LOVE Park. During the event, staff will also collect turkeys, coupons and donations at Giant Food Stores across the Tri-State area.

The annual drive benefits shelters, veterans groups, churches and families in need.

After the Turkey Drop, City Team will spend the next 24 hours delivering about 10,000 turkeys. Last year, the team delivered about 9,000 turkeys.

“I usually never estimate, I just pray,” DeBella said.

Some recipients will get fresh or frozen birds to cook themselves. Others will receive pre-cooked gobblers.

Decades ago, a newspaper ad, which read “$10 will buy meals for five people,” caught DeBella’s attention. He asked listeners to collect turkeys for the needy – first 100, then 500 the next year, and so on.

“I understand the drive to beat yesterday’s numbers, but it’s more than a feeling when you understand that over 25 percent of this city lives below the poverty line," said DeBella.

In the summer, DeBella also hosts a Radiothon – now in its eighth year – which benefits the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service Center. This year, the fundraiser yielded $144,173; one of this year’s biggest contributors was Rod Stewart, who donated $10,000 to the cause. In its eight years, the event has raised nearly $650,000.

This week, DeBella will personally drop off more than 25 turkeys at the N. 4th Street Vets center.

“Even if you hate war, it’s about loving and caring for the warrior,” said DeBella.

DeBella said turkey donations are down this year, but is remaining optimistic.

“But there’s a funny thing that happens on the day of the event – people with the least always give the most."


Full article online HERE!

Veterans Day Telethon on CBS3

Tune in to Support Local Veterans this Veterans Day!




In only a few days,  we will host our first annual Veterans Day Telethon on CBS 3! Tune-in this Tuesday, November 11th from 3-8PM to see VMC staff, veterans that have been impacted by our  programs, and veteran supporters that recognize the difference the VMC is making in our community.




Remember to call 844-977-CBS3 (2273) on Veterans Day from 3-8PM in support of the VMC and local veterans.


Won’t be able to catch the Telethon on Veterans Day? You can still show your support by making a donation online HERE.


Anonymous - Philadelphia, PA

"I am the wife of a Viet Nam Veteran. My husband started going to PVMSEC 10 years ago for help. No mere words could ever express how much his life and in turn our family life has changed for the better in those years. I am and always will be grateful for the wonderful care he has received at the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service Center & Education Center."

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