Rep. Hakeem Jeffries announces $1 million in funds to help Black veterans group

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries gave his 10th inaugural address at Brooklyn Technical High School in Fort Greene. Jan 29, 2023.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
File Photo by Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech

Hakeem Jeffries, the newly-minted leader of Democrats in the U.S. House, announced a $1 million grant to the local organization Black Veterans for Social Justice (BVSJ).

Jeffries, who represents swaths of Brooklyn in the nation’s lower legislative chamber, headed to Bedford–Stuyvesant on Friday for a Veterans Resource Fair, where he announced the funding for the BVSJ’s Incarcerated Veterans Transitional Program. 

The money comes from the most recent government funding law, and will go directly to new and existing programs at BVSJ which will work to help formerly incarcerated veterans securing housing, employment and any other necessary aid to help reduce recidivism and to empower the community.

“[This organization] has successfully transitioned [individuals] back into society as a veteran and then as a returning citizen, where often there are obstacles they face,” said Rep. Jeffries of the continued support BVSJ has supplied throughout the years. “We must stand for the people who stood up for us.”

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries stands at a podium announcing the allocation of $1 million in funding to the Black Veterans for Social Justice organization.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries announces major funds for Black veterans group.Isabel Song Beer

The Incarcerated Veterans Transitional Program has been helping veterans in the area locate affordable housing, job opportunities and other assistance all to reduce recidivism, meaningfully improve the lives of veterans, enhance public safety and more.

Jeffries said at the Feb  24 event that he specifically looked to work with and aid organizations like BVSJ which work “in connection with the initiative to try to make sure that formerly incarcerated veterans can get back on their feet.”

BVSJ has been operating since 1979 when a group of veterans from a multitude of military branches that had served during World War II organized during the Vietnam War to support the new generation of veterans.

Organizers at the Veterans Resource Fair expressed their deep appreciation for the Congress Member’s support, both for veteran communities and formerly incarcerated communities.

“He has fought hand-in-hand to make sure that veterans and community members have access to affordable housing,” said Jelani Mashariki, VP of Facilities and Community Relations at BVSJ. “He has worked on many of the criminal justice legislation that allowed families to be reunited with individuals that have been taken from their households.” 

“He understood that the power was in the people and the people must have access to the resources.”

To learn more about the Black Veterans for Social Justice, visit their website at https://bvsj.org

For more coverage of Hakeem Jeffries, head to BrooklynPaper.com.