Saint Paul and Minneapolis commit to end veteran homelessness by 2015
 
January 31, 2014 (MINNEAPOLIS)Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and State Director to Prevent and End Homelessness Cathy ten Broeke, announced Friday that they are partnering together to finish the job of ending veteran homelessness in Minneapolis and Saint Paul by 2015. The cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul are partnering together in a challenge with Columbus, Ohio and Des Moines, Iowa to end veteran homelessness. The challenge will run until January, 2015.
 
“It is unconscionable that those who served our country in the armed services should find themselves out of a home,” Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said. “Together as a region we will spend the next year doing whatever it takes to make sure our veterans have a place to live in dignity.”
The Twin Cities has roughly 200 veterans who struggle to find a permanent place to live (approximately 350 statewide), with 15 percent sleeping in Saint Paul’s Dorothy Day Center.
 
“Minneapolis and Saint Paul should be cities where every person can thrive,” said Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. “All people, especially our veterans, deserve a home. I am proud to be partnering with Saint Paul in taking on this challenge. We have made significant progress over recent years through our joint work with Hennepin County, but there is still much to do. Ending veteran homelessness is the work of the entire community.”
 
“Many housing and service providers have been doing the work of ending veteran homelessness for many years. It is because of them and the federal commitment of new housing and service dollars targeted to veterans most in need that we are now at this point. We can see the end of homelessness for veterans,” said State Director to Prevent and End Homelessness, Cathy ten Broeke. “We are pledging to work together to rapidly finish the job of ending homelessness for each veteran and to remove the barriers that remain in their way.” 
 
Background:
1.       New Section 8 housing vouchers for homeless veterans coupled with services from the VA.  The local housing authorities and the local VA homeless services team has successfully targeted these resources to the veterans most in need.  This has been an extremely successful collaboration of all levels of government and local community partners.
2.       A statewide federal grant – Supportive Services for VeteranFamilies (SSVF)  - administered by the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans.   This serves as a prevention and rehousing tool for veteran families and has been critical in preventing homelessness for hundreds of households over the past year.
What will we do?
The State Director will coordinate all partners around this goal and, collectively, they will target any remaining homeless veterans with the tools they need to end their homelessness. Housing and service providers working directly with veterans will be especially critical in identifying remaining barriers and gaps to success.  We will approach this on a veteran-by-veteran basis.
 
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Published Jan 31, 2014