Jason Kander has big plans for the future.
He's back: Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander will now lead the national expansion of the Kansas City-based nonprofit fighting to end homelessness among veterans.
The former Army intelligence officer says the Veterans Community Project
helped him get the proper services after he dropped out of the Kansas City mayoral race last year to seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
"Veterans' homelessness is a national crisis, so I'm proud to join an organization that has created a model to end it," Kander says in a news release. "By expanding nationally, our goal is for VCP to both end veterans' homelessness and help millions of other veterans get the services they've earned."
The group plans to set up in eight more cities by 2022, with a long-term goal of eliminating veteran homelessness nationwide. Each city will have a VCP Village and a Veteran Outreach Center. The village, "built by veterans for veterans," will be a specialized community of tiny homes with services to help transition veterans to permanent housing. The outreach center will be a free, walk-in space for any veteran dealing with any problems.
Founded in 2016, the group says it has effectively eliminated veterans homelessness in Kansas City and helped thousands of local veterans navigate the "frustrating maze" that is federal bureaucracy—including Kander, who went
to the organization for help filling out paperwork from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
"We're proud that our success in Kansas City will allow us to expand nationally, and are excited to have Jason Kander on the team to help us accomplish our goal of ending veterans' homelessness nationwide," VCP co-founder and CEO Bryan Meyer said in a press release.
Kander was a rising star in the Democratic Party, narrowly losing to incumbent Republican Roy Blunt in the 2016 senatorial race. After the election, he founded Let America Vote
, which fights voter suppression laws across the country. He was even rumored to be a potential candidate for President before he announced — and abruptly ended — his mayoral candidacy.
But now he says he is not thinking about politics, telling Kate Bolduan on CNN Newsroom this morning
, "I'm really happy with what's going on in my life right now."
"If you think something might be wrong, something is wrong, and you should get help," Kander tells Bolduan. "Now I have this incredible opportunity."
- Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.