"This proves to everybody that you can do it … You can end homelessness, you just need to go one person at a time."
No doubt national and state officials are celebrating the monumental achievement after having set a goal earlier on to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.
The Connecticut Department of Housing, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH), and other nonprofits and volunteers who spent time on the streets identifying homeless veterans played a major role in the state’s coordinated efforts.
Said Lisa Tepper Bates, executive director of CCEH:
“This means that all known chronically homeless veterans are housed or are on the immediate path to housing and any veteran who newly enters homelessness will be rapidly put on the path to permanent housing. “
Nearly 300 veterans previously experiencing chronic homelessness have now been gifted permanent – or at least temporary – housing. Chronically homeless is defined as “those with a disabling condition who have been continuously homeless for a year or have had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.”
According to a joint report conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs along with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, veterans account for 16% of all homeless adults nationwide – even though they only make up 10% of the population. It is a travesty, indeed.
But this positive news is affirmation that homelessness – especially chronic homelessness among veterans – can be eradicated. “This proves to everybody that you can do it … You can end homelessness, you just need to go one person at a time,” said Bates.
As the Hartford Courant reports, Connecticut was supplied with the means to reach it goal through significant increases in funding for permanent housing vouchers and additional funding targeted to provide rapid rehousing to veterans carried out on a federal level.
Connecticut’s state Department of Housing has also invested at least $3 million in rental subsidies and special services for Connecticut’s homeless veterans. In many states, there is no such investment.
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