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  • Northend RISE Editor

Celebrating Veterans Day: Honoring a local volunteer

November 11 is Veterans Day. A federal holiday meant to honor all veterans of the uniformed services who served or are still serving during times of peace and war.

Northend RISE recognizes this special day and all those whose sacrifices, patriotism, and willingness to serve have made this country great. This year we recognize Veterans Day by highlighting one of our local veterans.

Duane White is a truly committed and dynamic local leader who lives and focuses exclusively on our community. Duane is a devoted family man, who puts great emphasis, love, and enthusiasm on raising his children and being a devoted husband, yet, he still finds time to volunteer with local organizations such as the Northend Coalition of Neighborhoods (NCON) and RISE.

Duane is one of our local heroes who is also a natural-born leader. Duane is very humble and did not want this article to be all about him, so, we asked him to send us a short write-up highlighting what he does:

Meet Duane White:

My name is Duane White. As a United States Air Force Veteran, I learned that service to the country never needs to stop after retirement. As a "Northend" resident of West Palm Beach, I have continued my service as co-chair of the Northend Coalition of Neighborhoods (NCON). The mission of NCON is to unite a dedicated coalition of neighborhoods, businesses, government, and community partners to preserve and enhance the north end of West Palm Beach.

In the summer of 2021, my wife and two young children chose Northwood Pines in the north end of West Palm Beach for its central location near downtown and walking distance from Historic Northwood Village.

Duane’s account of Homelessness, Poverty, and Quality of Life:

According to the Florida Department of Veteran's Affairs, Florida is the third largest veteran population in the nation consisting of 1,328,000 male and 164,000 female veterans. Yet, unfortunately, Florida ranks third in people experiencing homelessness at 27,487, behind California at 161,584, and New York at 91,271. So, what can we do as a community to help end the homelessness crisis?

Nadia Evangelou, a senior economist and director of forecasting for the National Association of Realtors, believes that as a nation, we are short 2 million homes -USA TODAY. Many issues contribute to homelessness that requires a coordinated and sustained effort by the community and our elected local, state, and national officials. On the local level, we can volunteer our time to homeless outreach services and discuss best practices and ideas to reduce our community's homeless population with our neighbors and elected leaders. When there is a need, the opportunity to serve also exists.

We can begin [to solve these problems] by educating ourselves on the root causes of our communities' systemic poverty and mental health. Additionally, we can advocate for sustainable development that increases density to add more affordable housing and infrastructure as our city grows.

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