By The Advocate
Revere Housing Authority (RHA) Executive Director Linda M. Shaw sent out letters to state officials this week requesting $250,000 in grant money to be set aside for returning veterans from Revere.
In a letter dated Nov. 19, 2013, Shaw requested on behalf of the RHA’s Board of Commissioners to set aside the requested funds for the purpose of training of veterans for mechanical skills including painting, plumbing, carpentry, and electrical for four persons with the hope of employment.
RHA employees are trained at the Peterson School in Woburn, which is where prospective veterans would be sent to learn a skilled trade.
According to the director, the veteran would come in as an Apprentice Journeyman for training at the school.
Another request to the state delegates asked for veteran designation for the city’s public housing.
Citing the RHA’s history of setting aside public housing solely for veterans returning from wars, Shaw requested the state delegates to restore the past designation for veteran’s preference in the RHA’s 200-1 portfolio to be equal to that of a homeless or domestic abuse priority.
“In the past few years the demand for housing for war vets has increased thanks to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars,” said Shaw. “The veterans should get first crack.”
As an example, Shaw mentioned a combat veteran returning with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who couldn’t be hired on the police dept. would need to learn a new skill to provide for his family.
The director sent letters to State Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein, Senator’s Anthony Petruccelli and Sal DiDomenico, Speaker of the House Rep. Bob DeLeo, and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Although the letters were sent out this past week, the director stated that over the past three years, her requests for the grant money for veterans have gone unheard despite correspondence with Sen. Petruccelli and former Sen. Scott Brown’s office.
Her office has been working closely with Nick Bua, the city’s Veteran’s Director, Bob Repucci of CAPIC, and Mayor Dan Rizzo’s office in order to meet the public housing criteria.
“It’s more of choosing one specific group over another, “said Shaw. “Everyone agrees that veterans are a priority – but they need to put their money where their mouths are if they really want to help.”