Dwight Radcliff, leader of nonprofit that helps veterans, dies at 55

US Vets

By CARLA RIVERA – Los Angeles Times

Dwight Radcliff, an Air Force veteran who overcame homelessness to lead a national organization providing services for former soldiers facing similar obstacles, has died. He was 55.

Radcliff died Saturday of a heart attack at Los Angeles’ Marina Del Rey Hospital, near his home, said Nicole Ward, a family spokeswoman and longtime friend and associate.

As president and chief executive of United States Veterans Initiative, Radcliff led a nonprofit organization that provides job training and placement, counseling and housing to more than 2,000 veterans and their families in five states and the District of Columbia.

US Vets president Dwight Radcliff dead at 55

Air Force veteran Dwight Radcliff, president of the United States Veterans Initiative, has died of a heart attack. He was 55.

Family spokeswoman Nicole Ward says Radcliff died of heart attack Saturday at Marine del Rey Hospital.

Radcliff was a tireless worker for U.S. Vets, which helps thousands of veterans and their families find jobs, homes and counseling. The group recently broke ground on a $35 million affordable housing complex for low-income vets in Los Angeles.

Advocates work to end homelessness in Horry County
Local homeless advocates say there is a need for more shelters, resources, and agencies working together in Horry County.

Those who work with the area’s homeless are looking at ways to make that happen in a 10-year plan to end homelessness in the county.

The plan is expected to address topics that include “how many homeless people are still in need, how to stabilize them and get them back into society, the physical and mental help they need, and how much it costs when homeless people are jailed overnight,” said Carol Stallings with the Swash Park Ministry of First Baptist Church.

Haven for the homeless in works for north end

The homeless along the North Strand soon may have a warm place to spend cold winter nights.

Several residents and individuals at area churches are working to secure a house for a homeless shelter, which organizers hope will be open by September.

“We want to do a holistic approach,” said Dana Bolch, one of the visionaries of the shelter who attends Barefoot Church in North Myrtle Beach. “We don’t want to just feed and house [the homeless] for the night. We want to love on them.”

Myrtle Beach sees potential shelter
Two empty buildings on Mr. Joe White Avenue could become part of Myrtle Beach’s latest offering to get disabled homeless people off the streets.

Using $1 million in federal stimulus money and another $400,000 in a community development block grant and other grant and loan money, Myrtle Beach wants to buy the property directly west of The Food Depot at 1101 Mr. Joe White Ave., tear down the buildings and construct an 11-unit apartment complex for those in need of permanent supportive housing.

The property would have to be rezoned, and that item will come before the City Council at its March 9 meeting. City staff said because the state is pushing the project, the planned start date is May. They estimate 10 months for completion.

Ghostly tale spells a new phase for Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe’s next magic trick will be his hardest – can he successfully disappear into a new starring film role after a decade as Harry Potter? On July 26, just three days removed from his 21st birthday, the actor seemed eager for the challenge even though his thoughts kept drifting back to Hogwarts.

“Working is how I will best get through a very weird time,” Radcliffe said. “I know it’s the most constructive thing I can do because otherwise I’d be moping around and being a bit like, ‘Oh, I miss everyone … ‘ So I’m quite pleased to go on to the next thing and the next challenge.”

The “next challenge” is actually a list of things. Radcliffe will appear on Broadway in the spring in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (he was fresh from dance class, in fact, when he spoke by phone from London), and he is attached to three film projects. First among these movies to reach the screen will be the just-announced adaptation of “The Woman in Black,” the spooky 1983 suspense novel by Susan

Last month, the group broke ground on a new $34.9 million affordable housing development for low-income veterans near Los Angeles International Airport.

“Dwight was the kind of guy who from where I sit on the government side gave us a good sense of what was going on at street level,” said Peter Dougherty, the national director of homeless veterans programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, who had known Radcliff for 20 years. “Dwight never looked to get into the spotlight, he always looked to get things done. He cared so much for his fellow veterans and that led him to be an inspiration for so many of us. His death is a huge loss.”

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Harry Pregerson, who served in the Marines and also had known Radcliff for about 20 years, called him a “shining light” who had “the fire in the belly to help other veterans, he worked tirelessly.”

“He was a leader in assisting homeless veterans not only in Los Angeles County but throughout the nation,” Pregerson said.

Dwight Radcliff was born Oct. 4, 1954 in Los Angeles. He was raised in South Central Los Angeles and after high school served in the Air Force from 1971 to 1974.

Radcliff worked as a musician, playing bass in a band that toured with Stevie Wonder, Ward said. But he later suffered the hardships of homelessness and substance abuse.

“He suffered serious problems himself and I first knew him when he was getting his life back together,” Dougherty said.

In a 2003 story in the Los Angeles Times, Radcliff addressed his experience and how he sought services at a residential facility in West Los Angeles.

He got his life back on track and earned a certificate in drug and alcohol counseling at the University of California-Los Angeles. It was a path he said other homeless vets could follow.

Radcliff joined U.S. Vets in nearby Inglewood in 1997. He developed Veterans in Progress, a job re-entry and housing program. He was appointed president by the U.S. Vets board of directors in 2008.

Radcliff maintained a connection to his musical roots, playing bass in a rhythm and blues band of fellow veterans called Living Proof, which played in small venues.

“Dwight was an intimate part of building the services provided by (U.S. Vets),” said Tim Cantwell, president of a real estate and development firm who worked with Radcliff to establish facilities for homeless veterans. “In every which way you can imagine, he helped to raise awareness of issues facing veterans locally, statewide and nationally.”

Radcliff is survived by his wife, Paulette, three sons and two daughters, his mother, a sister and three grandchildren.


We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.

About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.
Previous articleHearts, minds and the same old warlords, Big strategy flounders on corruption and tribalism