Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative names new executive director

Buchanan comes from Wisconsin Veterans Network

Debbie Buchanan is executive director of the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative.

Last updated on May 14th, 2019 at 01:43 am

Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative has named Debbie Buchanan as its new executive director.

Debbie Buchanan is executive director of the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative.

A U.S. Army veteran, Buchanan has worked for more than 20 years in the nonprofit sector, most recently serving as a veteran service navigator with Wisconsin Veterans Network, a West Allis-based non-profit social service agency.

“Debbie brings a wealth of experience, talent and enthusiasm as well as a deep understanding of the challenges faced by veterans who are homeless or face physical, emotional, or economic barriers,” said Tom Williams, MHVI board president. “A veteran herself, Debbie will provide leadership and compassion in serving the veterans’ community and moving our organization forward.”

Buchanan served from 1987 through 1993 in the U.S. Army as an administrative specialist at the Carl R. Darnell Medical Center in Ft. Hood, Texas, and as a reservist at the 452nd Combat Support Hospital in Milwaukee.

She also worked as a job developer for the Milwaukee-based Center for Veterans Issues and as director of administration for transitional living services.

“I was attracted to MHVI by the unique services it provides to our homeless and at-risk veterans, including its Bikes For Stripes and Women Veteran’s Initiative programs,” Buchanan said. “My vision is to work closely with staff, board members and community stakeholders to enhance current operations, create additional programs and position MHVI to serve more veterans, families and the community at large.”

Founded in 2008 and run by veterans, MHVI works to help homeless and at-risk veterans and their families in receiving benefits, housing, health care, furniture, household goods, food, clothing, transportation, toiletries and other necessities.

Earlier this year, the Wisconsin Veterans Network (VetsNet) and MHVI announced that the organizations would operate independently of each other. The split occurred about a year after MHVI created VetsNet.

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