Founded in 1992 by formerly homeless Vietnam veterans John Keaveney and Larry Williams, and advocate for the homeless Toni Reinis, New Directions for Veterans is an L.A.-based organization that serves at-risk veterans, providing transitional housing, a homelessness prevention program called Supportive Services for Veteran Families, and five supportive housing facilities throughout Los Angeles County. Retired Col. Yvette J. Kelley is the CEO and president of New Directions, which also offers a comprehensive set of additional life-saving services, such as substance abuse treatment, trauma counseling and job training and placement. Actors Joe Mantegna and Steven Weber emceed the organization’s October gala celebrating 25 years of community service, an event that honored such luminaries as Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Craig C. Darian, co-chair and CEO of Occidental Entertainment Group Holdings.
“Los Angeles has the largest population of homeless veterans in the country and New Directions has been around for 25 years trying to address this problem,” says David Baylor, New Directions of Veterans chairman of the board. “On a nightly basis we have about 140 veterans in our facilities in transitional houses and on top of that we have permanent supportive housing units that serve somewhere around 300 veterans. We are a $10 million agency and we have 110 employees so we are very efficient in what we do.”