Mayor Berke Names Task Force Members For Effort To End Veteran Homelessness

Friday, June 06, 2014

Mayor Andy Berke on Friday released the names of the initial individuals he has asked to serve on his Veterans Task Force. This announcement comes a little over one month after he signed an executive order establishing a community coalition to eradicate chronic veteran homelessness by December 2016.

This task force is made up of veterans, community leaders, and service providers. The group will work to develop an action plan over the next year and monitor progress, it was stated.

 The members of the Veterans Task Force include:

            City Council Chairman Chip Henderson

            John O’Rourke – Buffalo Valley Inc

            Pat Townley – Spirit Horse for Veterans

            Edwin Holmes – Veteran

            Josh Roe – Veteran

            Danny Jones – Veteran and Sgt in the Chattanooga Police Department

            Theodore Young – Veteran Affairs

            Beth Washburn – Veteran Affairs

            Ray Adkins – Veteran

            Steven Wright – Homeless Coalition

            Donna Maddox – Johnson Mental Health Center

            Todd Dockery – Veteran and Human Resources Director with the City of Chattanooga

            Lee Norris – Veteran and Public Works Administrator with the City of Chattanooga

            Janna Jahn – Hamilton County

            Everlena Holmes – Glenwood Neighborhood Block Leader

            Jens Christensen – Community Kitchen

            David Denmark – MacClellan Foundation

            BettyeLynn Smith  - Housing Specialist

            Carol Johnson – Chattanooga Housing Authority

            Melissa Wilson – Mental Health Cooperative

            Mary Ellen – Family Promise

            Daniel Wagner – UTC Student Veterans Organization

            Jordan Betbeze – UTC Student Veterans Organization

            Chris Smith – Veteran and IS Specialist with the City of Chattanooga

            Karen Guinn – Homeless Healthcare Center

According to Veteran Affairs, at any given time in Chattanooga there are about 150 veterans who are homeless and 20 percent who are chronically homeless. Due to the transient nature of this problem, it is likely that many more go uncounted, officials said.

“These men and women have served our country valiantly and it’s time we take care of the people who have fought so courageously for our freedom” said Mayor Berke.

Prior to announcing the creation of this task force, Mayor Berke and City Council Chairman Chip Henderson met with veterans on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga about the issues they faced both during service and since returning home. 

“This is an issue around our country, but I know that Chattanooga can solve tough problems. I am confident we will be able to make a real difference for these brave men and women” said Chairman Henderson.


Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

First Protected Bicycle Lanes In Chattanooga To Be On Broad Street

Construction of the first protected bicycles lanes in Chattanooga will begin in Spring 2015 according to the Chattanooga Department of Transportation. The lanes will be downtown, going from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Aquarium Way on approximately .6 miles of Broad Street.   The street's current six through lanes will be reduced to four to make room for the bike ... (click for more)

Chairs Cost How Much?

Many times while growing up, I would go to the store with my parents. More often than not, I would see something I wanted, and ask my parents to buy it for me. More often than not, they said no. “Why?” I asked. “Son, money doesn’t grow on trees.” That’s a phrase I’m sure many of us have heard more than once over the course of our lives. However, I have since learned that they were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Pete Carroll’s Philosophy

Pete Carroll, the head football coach of the Seattle Seahawks, has a deep belief that he can change people by simply listening to them and then making suggestions on how they can get what they really want. If the people Carroll who can influence win, Carroll wins, and remember his team won last year’s Super Bowl with his methods.   When asked for example, here is what ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Claims Region 4A/AA Soccer Title

Junior Sofia Olenchek scored twice, including the winning goal in the second overtime (95th minute) period as host Notre Dame defeated crosstown rival Chattanooga Christian 2-1, for the Region 4 A-AA championship Thursday night. In a well-played, physical match, CCS led at halftime, 1-0,  after senior Hannah Henry scored in the 14th minute, but Olenchek's first goal ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats Briarcrest For Shot At Father Ryan, DII-AA State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – OK, Father Ryan.  Baylor’s still hanging around. The Lady Red Raiders stormed past Briarcrest, 3-1, Thursday in the loser’s bracket final at Siegel Middle School and advanced to Friday’s Division II-AA volleyball tournament championship match. The set scores were 26-24, 25-15, 24-26, 25-15. The Lady Red Raiders lost to Father Ryan, ... (click for more)