Coalition of Rotary Clubs Help Homeless Veterans

(above, l-r) Assistant Governor Hal Moeller; Speaker and Past District Governor Dr. D. Michael Hart; Past President Jeannie Tsukamoto; Past District Governor Jim Allison.

Rotary Clubs Help Homeless Veterans

Rotary Club of Westfield 

On Thursday, February 2, 2023, Dr. D. Michael Hart spoke to the Rotary Club of Madison about a coalition of Rotary clubs which are helping homeless veterans living at Lyons VA Hospital.

It is estimated that 22 Veterans commit suicide every day. Many veterans are suffering from PTSD, alcoholism, or drug addiction, have no family, and are unable to hold a job, and some end up homeless. 

Military veterans put their lives and health on the line to protect our freedom. Rotarians feel that it our responsibility to help them live a decent life, with respect, and to give them support and hope. More than that– the goal is to clean them up, eliminate their addiction, offer counseling, polish up their resume, and help them become a productive member of society again.

Lyons VA Hospital in Bernard’s Township, NJ accepts homeless veterans. Lyons gives them a bed and meals and some clothing, but not everything they need. The VA system offers counseling and career advice. The veterans stay at the hospital a few months, and once stable, they are moved to a more permanent facility, such as Valley Brook Village. Currently 44 homeless veterans are living at Lyons VA Hospital, and 120 veterans are living at Valley Brook Village. Both facilities were built by the Federal Veterans Administration. The Hospital is administered by the VA, and Valley Brook is administered by an independent private company.

The four Rotary Clubs cooperating in the program are: The Rotary Clubs of Hillsborough, Morristown, Somerset Hills, and Westfield. These four New Jersey Rotary Clubs together with General Needs, Inc. delivered needed winter clothing to 164 veterans living at Lyons VA Hospital and nearby Valley Brook Village on Saturday, December 3, 2022. General Needs distributed boots and socks, the Rotary clubs provided additional funds to purchase winter coats, hats, gloves, and scarves. This coalition does a distribution almost every month.

General Needs is an organization dedicated to supporting veterans to help prevent suicides. The Rotary clubs raise funds to supplement the items being provided by General Needs, Inc. 

The Rotary Club of Westfield meets the first three Tuesdays of each month for lunch at noon, at Limani Seafood Grill on North Ave. Guests are always welcome. For information check out the website  or contact club secretary Dr. D. Michael Hart by email at

Tagged with: ,