“I Heard That”: Signing of San Francisco Armed Forces Community Covenant; Black Cuisine Street Festival …

by Rochelle Metcalfe on February 29, 2012

SUPPORT OUR VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES! San Francisco Armed Forces Community Convenant (SFAFCC) has sent a call out for action throughout the San Francisco community to step up and show their appreciation and support for our servicemembers, veterans and their families, who made sacrifices when they were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. involvement is over! Now, they are returning home in droves, they need the support of the community more than ever! They need jobs, education, housing, social support, and much more.

Ms. RHONDA HARRIS, a developer with H&H Builders, Inc., located in Richmond, CA, is an ardent supporter of the plight of veterans and their families! Aware that I am a Veteran (served in The Air Force ), sent me an E-mail, “Rochelle, being a veteran and your dedication as a supporter of our military and other veterans, we appreciate your commitment to assisting various organizations in anyway you can, therefore, WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!“

Harris requested my presence to be a part of an extraordinary all day event, help get the word out about the San Francisco Armed Forces Community COVENANT Signing, and Veteran and Military Resource Fair, this Friday, March 2, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the San Francisco War Memorial Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue.

This event will launch SFAFCC’s commitment to servicemembers, and bring the community together to ensure comprehensive support and accessibility to those who serve, and to sustain this support through regular community meetings. The Convenant Signing Ceremony will take place at noon; elected officials, community leaders, and the community of San Francisco will gather on Herbst Theatre stage to sign on a large signing board, committing their awareness and support to servicemembers and their families.

The Armed Forces Community Convenant was launched April 17, 2008 with a community signing ceremony in Columbus, Georgia. Since then, over 700 Community Covenants have been signed by community members in 48 states, three territories and the District of Columbia. The SFAFCC is tailored to the local level, with leaders at both local and state levels participating in convenant signing ceremonies recognizing the strength of military servicemembers, veterans and their families, and the support of the local community.

Rhonda, as I prefer to call her, emphatically expressed that it is important to outreach to veterans, inform them of what resources are available to them, that they participate – “they are the STARS”! Female veterans, and wives of veterans, are asked to show up for the Fair. She shared for one reason or another, many are left out – they TOO need help for their families and children.

Rhonda and I are no strangers! It had been several years since our paths crossed until a recent Sunday morning worship service at True Hope Baptist Church, Rev. Aurelius Walker, Pastor. The dynamic lady was excited about her work with veterans and wanted to meet with me. Let me tell you, she is very passionate, spiritual, focused woman; you feel her abounding energy and persistence! Finally, after two weeks in pursuit, she got my attention last week to sit down to give me the 411. AND HAPPY that she did!

Ms. Harris, born and raised in Bayview Hunters Point, through a partnership with Veterans Affairs (a pilot program) work with VA HOMELESS VETS. She has three properties, one in the Bayview has the capacity to hold 10 beds. “We are helping VA eradicate homelessness through providing shelter in place, services for the Veterans while they are on a waiting list to go into a treatment facility that provide room and board.

“We only supply shelter in place services which is comfort, food, a bed, clean living sober environment, NO alcohol or drugs – to give them time to relax , chill out. We are that shelter in place that offer a peaceful, safe. loving environment”.

CALENDAR NOTE – This Saturday, San Francisco Bayview, DA PLACE TO BE – enjoy the BLACK CUISINE Street Festival, at Yosemite and Third Street, sponsored by DR. GEORGE DAVIS Bayview Hunters Point Multipurpose SENIOR Service (a fundraiser) where one can experience some of the best SOUL FOOD in the Bay Area – a culinary delight featuring entries from Bay Area restaurants, caterers and chefs. Local churches and MAINLY senior citizens are invited to show off their “FROM SCRATCH” recipes in a contest judged by civic leaders and Bay Area media celebrities, starting 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., The street is closed off; usually TWO band stands featuring entertainment; vendor booths, and amusements for kids. Come out and enjoy a wonderful day that will benefit the Seniors!

E-mail Rochelle @ iheard@earthlink.net

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