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Houston Vows To Stop Veteran Homelessness

The city of Houston has done something quite remarkable. On Monday, Mayor Annise Parker announced that Houston is ending chronic veteran homelessness. The city joined a national movement to put an end to the issue by they end of the year. They did so by matching up several local agencies to house 3,650 veterans over the course of three years. In a statement, Parker said “Too often those that answered the call of service still find themselves struggling long after leaving the military. Houston is there for our heroes, and just like on the battlefield, we will leave no one behind.”

Houston joins New Orleans, Phoenix and Salt Lake City as locations that have ended vet homelessness ahead of schedule. First lady Michelle Obama gave the issue national attention when she launched the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. Over 600 local leaders have accepted the challenge. Houston has the second largest veteran population in the country and use the community-driven initiative, the Way Home. They then used 35 local agencies to align local and federal resources, while increasing street outreach teams to identify the appropriate solution for each individual in need.

Since 2012, the Way Home has cut homelessness in Houston by almost 50 percent. Julián Castro, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said “Our courageous veterans deserve the opportunity to experience the American Dream they’ve risked so much to defend. Houston has developed the tools to identify and support every veteran in the city experiencing homelessness. We look forward to sharing its innovative strategy with folks all across the nation.”

Photo: Realty Times

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