When Don Parrot saw an opening on the City of El Paso’s Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee, he saw it as an opportunity to collaborate on a larger scale to improve services for veterans.
“By serving in the community, TVC staff can have their finger on the pulse, of what is going on and what needs to happen,” said Parrot. “The committee provides me with insight into the issues that veterans face and there is so much knowledge on the committee. As we identify the issues and present recommendations to City Council, I also consider what TVC can do to address those needs.”
He stated a core value of the advisory committee is strengthening the relationship between the City of El Paso and the veteran community. “The city is working diligently to become ‘veteran ready’ and that entails having the resources in place to support veterans and their families. We have worked with the city to increase career opportunities for veterans within city government. We have also worked tirelessly to address veteran homelessness.”
Parrot was taken directly into the homeless community as a member of El Paso’s Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee Homeless Subcommittee.
“As a subcommittee member, it is important to participate in events that are conducive to positive results, such as the (Coalition for the Homeless) Point in Time Survey,” Parrot said. “The purpose of the survey is to go out and speak with homeless El Pasoans, not all of whom are veterans, to identify their needs. The information gathered helps organizations develop programs and resources tailored to the needs of the homeless.”
As a result, the subcommittee identified resources and the City of El Paso approved and developed a housing program.
“The greatest accomplishment is just knowing that I am a member of a dedicated team of veterans that are focused on identifying and addressing issues in the veteran community. Every member is the epitome of servant leadership,” said Parrot.
Since his arrival in El Paso in 2017, Parrot says he has seen collaboration between City County and veterans service organizations increase.
“As communication and collaboration continues to improve between the City of El Paso and the veteran community, the needs of veterans and their families are better addressed. I have learned a great deal. You meet new people and together you make an impact on the lives of veterans and their families and our goal at the TVC is to improve the lives of veterans and their families.”
Pictured is Parrot.