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Four Cities Vow to House All Homeless Veterans
February 3, 2014
If you’ve been paying attention to the reports, you’ll already know that Phoenix says its ended chronic veteran homelessness, and Salt Lake City says it’s not far behind. Now, just last week Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges announced that they’re partnering to finish the job of ending veteran homelessness in Minnesota’s Twin Cities.
It’s not all that surprising, given the tremendous political will and federal resources behind it, that the fight to end veteran homelessness has gathered so much momentum. But it is very exciting, and Minnesota is very close. Last year, volunteers counted just 349 homeless veterans in the state of Minnesota during the 2013 Point-In-Time Count, 200 of them in the Twin Cities.
“If you have 200,000 people experiencing homeless that are veterans in your community, that’s a little challenging,” Cathy ten Broek, Minnesota’s state director to prevent and end homelessness told Minnesota Public Radio.
“But if you’ve got 349 across the state of Minnesota, or less than 200 in our cities, I think we can really start to do this on a very person-by-person level basis.”
And other cities are stepping up too. As part of this initiative, Minneapolis and Saint Paul are partnering in a challenge with Columbus, Ohio and Des Moines, Iowa to end veteran homelessness. The challenge will run until January, 2015, a year before the the goal that the administration and the federal Department of Veterans Affairs set for ending homelessness among veterans in America (the end of 2015).
So you can expect more cities making announcements like this in the near future. The important thing to remember about this nationwide effort and the progress we have made is that they show that Housing First works, and that we know how to end homelessness.
If you want to be part of the fight, please join the Alliance in our Never Another Homeless Veteran campaign and add your name to the list of thousands of people who believe that we can and will end veteran homelessness.