Norman Moody/ FLORIDA TODAY Dignitaries gather at Saturday night’s fundraiser. CAPE CANAVERAL – George Taylor Sr. was pleased by the crowd that showed up Saturday night to partner with National Veterans Homeless Support’s work to help homeless veterans. “Our No. 1 goal is to show the power of our partnership to get the job done and help us reach our mission to eliminate homelessness among our veterans,” Taylor said as more than 300 people showed up for a dinner fundraiser at the Radisson Resort at the Port. The organization’s NVHS Rescuing Veterans Lost in America Dinner, a $100-per-person event hosted by Brevard County constitutional officers, drew a sold-out crowd. Property Appraiser Dana Blickley, Tax Collector Lisa Cullen, Clerk of Courts Scott Ellis, Sheriff Wayne Ivey and Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott joined to host the event to help homeless veterans. Brevard County Public Defender Blaise Trettis and State Attorney Phil Archer also supported the event. “NVHS has a single focus and that’s to eliminate homelessness among our veterans,” said Blickley, who served on NVHS’s board of directors. Blickley said she decided to get involved after helping out at an event and meeting a woman whom she later learned was homeless. “That was enough for me to decide I had to do more,” she said, before turning to Taylor. “You changed my life, Mr. Taylor. You enriched my life.” George Taylor Jr. told the crowd that homelessness among veterans in Brevard was reduced 47 percent between 2011 and 2013. There was a drop of 56 percent between 2013 and this year. He said the number of homeless veterans in Brevard is now at 257, according to a one-day count done in January. Keynote speaker, retired Army Col. Danny McKnight told the crowd that he could think of nothing more important than participating in the event. “We have veterans that need us,” he said. “We have veterans who will tell you, ‘I’m Ok,’ but they need us. We are the ones that can make a difference.” Taylor said that because NVHS does not receive VA grants or other government help to care for homeless and needy veterans, he must rely on donations from individuals, companies and organizations to continue the work. NVHS operates three houses and three apartments with 17 beds to house homeless veterans for up to two years while they transition into their own apartments or houses. The organization provides basic survival needs to homeless men and women living in wooded camps around the county, in cars or abandoned buildings and even derelict boats. “It’s amazing how easy it is to get the job done with partners,” Taylor said. View full article online at