MACV NEWSLETTER - February 2021
MACV in the News
Help Needed as Warming Shelters Fill Up during Cooler Weather
"It's not a choice that we made or wanted. We are just dealing with it the best way we can. There's other people out there that are homeless that don't have as much as we have. We are lucky that we have a heater," said Sharon Norris, a Veteran who is homeless in Duluth. She lives in a encampment she built with a friend in West Duluth.
Financial impacts for those already behind on heating payments
With a cold front, many Northlanders may see an increase in their heating bills this winter.
Meanwhile, the continuing pandemic and its financial impacts could spell trouble for those already behind on their payments.
While they say this number is "exceptionally high", it's an improvement compared to the start of the pandemic. In July 2020, customers were behind $978,000 in payments. They hope this means people are taking advantage of the help available.
"Making sure people are applying for fuel assistance through AEO, crisis funds from the county, if you're a veteran you can seek help from the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans," adds Gallo. Click here for complete story.
Minnesota Senate Testimony
Part of MACV President & CEO Neal Loidolt's role is to promote awareness and accountability for our services to the Veteran community with governing bodies like the Minnesota Senate's Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy Committee. Check out his compelling testimony here!
Vaccinations available at the VA
Veterans who are eligible for VA medical services can follow the link below to stay up-to-date on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and sign up for the VA to contact you when you're eligible to get vaccinated! Considerations such as your risk group and state-by-state vaccine availability affect when you'll be eligible to get the vaccine. Stay in the know!
You can also call VA411 at 800-698-2411
February is Black History Month!
Shannon Gregory, MACV Staff, served in the U.S. Marines from 1992-1998 in Second Marine Division. He also served as a full-time Warrant officer and AGR Commissioned Officer in the Minnesota Army National Guard and was a UH-60 A/L/M pilot from 2000-2017.

Shannon shared with us what Black History Month means to him: “It’s an opportunity to reflect on those who have come before me. I realize that I have only been able to achieve to great heights because of the sacrifices of those who have come before me. Taking great pride in that is what helps our community gain wisdom for a complex future. We as the current community of Color have the responsibility to be the light and example for generations to come. In every triumph and tragedy, we must remain courageous and hopeful by remaining connected to our past and more importantly connected to our future.”
Arthur Cofield sits on the MACV Board of Directors and served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Operations Desert Shield & Desert Storm. A quote he finds inspirational is “What I am to be, I am now becoming.” – Benjamin Franklin
James McCloden, MACV Staff, served in the U.S. Army from 1983-1986 and 1988-1992. He was a Psychological Operations Specialist, Propaganda development and Dissemination.

Pictured above is the team he led in Operation Desert Storm, capturing Prisoners of War from the Iraqi army.

A quote that James finds inspirational is, “I don’t lose any sleep at night over the potential for failure. I cannot even spell the word.” – Jim Mattis
Case Management Spotlight: Amanda Hooper
Intersecting identities are a prevailing theme in MACV provider stories. While we focus our services on Veterans, the nature of the U.S. military includes multiple generations and life stages. Case Manager and Army Veteran Amanda Hooper recently engaged with a Veteran in his seventies who recently suffered the loss of a close family member. After the remaining family decided to sell the house in which the two had resided for years, Ron* now had nowhere to live.

After reaching out to his VA case worker, who brought in MACV to secure short-term shelter for Ron, our team placed the Veteran in one of our partner hotels. Our staff collaboratively worked with the VA worker to address Ron’s barriers, which include myriad health conditions and no significant income. The Veteran’s adamant self-advocacy to stay in the community where he formerly resided added another layer to the case.

“He wanted to be someplace where his ties to the community were,” explains Hooper. When Ron was approved for his housing voucher and able to secure a residence in his community where his “regular life” was, it seemed like this was an open-and-shut case. MACV paid for the security deposit, first month’s rent, and connected Ron with resources to furnish his home as well as a move-in kit. The VA also provided home furnishings to help Ron get established on his own.

However, shortly after moving into his new home, Ron discovered a bizarre complication with his Social Security payment: the Social Security Administration (SSA) thought he was dead. Ron had not received his benefit for a few months before this point, but multiple addresses and the flurry of activity to house the Veteran had put this situation on the back burner.

“I’ll give him props, he’s very much on top of it,” notes Hooper. Ron immediately reached out to both his case workers to problem-solve this latest hiccup, which is set to resolve during a meeting at the local SSA office in early March. Given these complications and the slow pace of righting inaccuracies, losing a steady address is especially disastrous for Ron right now. As a result, MACV decided to provide the Veteran’s portion of the rent payment until his payment resumes.

Coordinating the medical, social, and financial needs of Veterans ranging from 25 to 90+ is a difficult juggling act every provider at MACV undertakes. Working with SSA in addition to the VA requires the ability to function within different administrative structures, but the decisions made by staff at these separate agencies have equally huge impacts on our clients. Ron is lucky to have such a committed expert on his team as Amanda, and we are confident that Ron can look forward to smooth sailing ahead!

*Veteran name changed to protect confidentiality
Upcoming Events

Eagle Group Virtual Job Meeting: Tuesdays (weekly), 5pm - Join Online

Online Interviewing Skills: Thursday (weekly), 1pm - Request Invite

Holes for Heroes (Fishing for Life): Saturday, Feb. 20th 1-4pm - Sign up

Ribbon Cutting North Minneapolis: Wednesday, March 31 Time TBD - Request Invite

Salute to Service Women Golf Classic: Tuesday, Jun. 22 - Sign up now

For more events, check out our Upcoming Events page at
Partner Spotlight: Mankato Elks Lodge
The Mankato Elks Lodge is proud to partner with MACV’s southern region team in pursuit of our shared goal of assisting the local Veteran community. The Mankato Elks Lodge appreciates that MACV is on the front lines and can easily assess needs and eligibility for the Elks programs. We are blessed to have several current and former MACV employees join our Lodge to help further our mutual goals.
This collaborative partnership has taken many forms over the years; the Lodge has supported MACV by providing vouchers for food or fuel, fundraising assistance, strong partnership in local Stand Down events, and otherwise providing Veterans help in their time of need. The Mankato Elks Lodge also launched their “Welcome Home Kits Program” 5 years ago, specifying MACV Veterans as the recipients of their generosity. The kits provide many household items to MACV Veterans moving into housing after an episode of homelessness.
With more than 1.1 million members in more than 2,100 Lodges nationwide, the Elks is one of the largest and most active fraternal organizations in the United States, as well as the largest civilian-run Veteran-focused organization.
"So long as there are Veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them."
Donor Spotlight
Minnesota National Guard

In our first major award of 2021, the Minnesota National Guard awarded MACV with $60,000 to provide direct financial assistance for National Guard Veterans who otherwise do not qualify for federal grant support.

The MN National Guard has the back of its members during these tough times, and we are proud to associate ourselves with such a strong branch of the military!
Forest Lake Lions Club

After a ten-year hiatus from giving to MACV, the Forest Lake Lions Club stepped up to renew our relationship through a $1,000 grant supporting general operations at MACV.

Fraternal organizations like the Lions are longtime supporters of initiatives like ending Veteran homelessness, and we are grateful to the men and women who commit more than words of support to our cause. Thanks again, Forest Lake Lions Club!
3M rounded out a multitude of donations, both in-kind and financial, by fully matching $5,000 of YOUR end-of-year donations! Between the giving campaigns and value of goods donated to Veterans staying in area hotels through our placement program 3M has awarded more than $12,000 to MACV in the past two months. Thanks again for your continued partnership!
Abbott Labs
Abbott Labs reached out to us with a generous end-of-year donation in response to an employee's request! Abbott awarded us $10,000 in an unrestricted grant. Thanks to the Abbott team for rounding out an unprecedented year for nongovernment funding with this lovely surprise.
St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation
Speaking of internal recommendation, longtime supporter Michael Ott selected MACV as the beneficiary of his year-end donation made through the St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation. As a board member of the Foundation, Ott has the opportunity to donate endowment funds to the nonprofit of his choice each year. Your generosity only strengthens our relationship with the St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation!
Standard Heating & Air Conditioning
Standard Heating & Air Conditioning is one of our steadiest supporters, donating in $25 increments over the course of the last four years. In total, Standard Heating has contributed $3,475 since 2017, as well as substantial in-kind gifts to MACV properties. Your support is appreciated now more than ever!
The Graham Smith Team
Graham Smith, the owner of Integrity Lakes Real Estate, has donated more than $18,000 from house sale proceeds to MACV since 2018. He educates his clients about MACV's work and our cause to end Veteran homelessness, and we have recently expanded our partnership with his business by reaching out to his buyers at his request. We thank Integrity Holdings for this steady support and wish them a profitable 2021!
Thank You to Last Month's Donors
You Can Help End Veteran Homelessness
Our team is working hard to stabilize Veterans without a place to shelter.
Winter in Minnesota pays no heed to unsheltered Veterans, and many sheltered Veterans are at risk for losing their homes when the statewide moratorium on payment-related evictions lifts. Heavy enrollment in local rental assistance programs indicates that at least 7,800 households in the Twin Cities alone are in danger of losing their housing due to layoffs, furloughs, or other lost income.