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McAuliffe campaign highlights Navy veteran’s battle with homelessness

Terry McAuliffe
Terry McAuliffe

The campaign of former governor Terry McAuliffe released a new video, “Yasmine,” on Monday, spotlighting the story of Yasmine Charles, a Navy veteran in Hampton Roads, and her experience with homelessness.

Charles served in the Navy for nine years, but ended up homeless, living out of her GMC Jimmy while attending Norfolk State University.

Charles met McAuliffe at the Vetshouse in Virginia Beach in 2016. The following year, he recognized herl story in his commencement address at her NSU graduation ceremony.

“It was a very special moment for me, let me tell you why,” Charles said. “These are the words he said to the audience, he said: ‘she was always cheerful even in the tough times. Yasmine, you are the reason I get up and work so hard every single day.’ As a Haitian immigrant, as a Black woman, and as a veteran, I feel like I have gotten such an emotional beatdown, and going back to those words from the governor just reminded me of what real leadership looks like and sounds like. He is someone who is about uplifting the people that he serves and that’s what he did for me. He cared about me as a homeless veteran, and I know he will care about the rest of us as Virginians.”

Today, around 2,000 Virginians are facing eviction in the Commonwealth. McAuliffe, seeking the Democratic Party nomination to run for governor a second time, has pledged to implement strategies that will address the underlying causes of housing instability and homelessness, provide immediate support to individuals at-risk of eviction and dramatically expand the availability of affordable housing.

Last month McAuliffe received the endorsement of Navy veteran David Reid, co-chair of the Virginia Military Veterans Caucus and a Loudoun County state delegate.

“Terry McAuliffe has been a tireless leader for Virginia families,” Reid said. “As a Navy veteran and the Co-Chair of the Virginia Military and Veterans Caucus, I commend Terry for the great work he has done and will do to recruit, hire, and support Virginia’s veterans in our workforce. I also commend Terry for making Virginia the first state in the nation to functionally end veteran homelessness. Terry has been and will be a champion for our veterans – and for all Virginians. Terry McAuliffe has been an unstoppable leader for all of Virginia families. As governor, Terry took unprecedented steps to build up the Virginia economy, bringing in over $20 billion in new capital investments and creating 200,000 new jobs. He has the big and bold vision needed to lead our Commonwealth forward.”

“Ever since I met Yasmine at Vetshouse and learned her story, I have been inspired by her determination, her perseverance, and her ability to remain cheerful, even in tough times. But it is heartbreaking – and unacceptable – that someone who served our country should experience homelessness,” McAuliffe said. “As governor, my administration will continue to implement bold and innovative strategies to address the underlying causes of housing instability and homelessness, and to provide support for Virginians who are facing even tougher times as a result of this pandemic.”

augusta free press
augusta free press