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Governor McAuliffe Announces 743 Homeless Veterans Placed in Housing since October

2nd Annual Summit on Ending Veteran Homelessness in Virginia held at State Capitol

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that 743 homeless veterans have been placed in housing since October 2014. 

The 2nd Annual Summit on Ending Veteran Homelessness in Virginia was held yesterday at the State Capitol in Richmond.  Federal, state and community stakeholders met to develop strategies for The Next Tactical Mile ­ the continued push to achieve Governor McAuliffe’s goals of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 and ensuring that systems are in place to respond quickly to those experiencing a housing crisis in the future.

“We are more effective at identifying and housing our homeless veterans now, and we are continuing to improve our systems to make sure that any Virginia veteran who experiences housing instability in the future will rapidly return to safe and stable housing as quickly as possible,” said Governor McAuliffe.

“We are making incredible strides, and the level of coordination among federal, state, and local partners is unprecedented,” said John Harvey, Virginia’s Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs.  “Yesterday’s summit focused on The Next Tactical Mile toward ending veteran homelessness to ensure that we have the resources, systems and plans in place to meet the Governor’s goals.”

State efforts kicked into high gear after Governor McAuliffe signed on to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in June 2014 and committed the Commonwealth to ending veteran homelessness by the end of this year.  Eighteen mayors across Virginia have also signed on to this commitment.

Yesterday’s Summit built on the success of the inaugural summit, held in June 2014, when stakeholders developed the first State Action Plan to End Veteran Homelessness. The Plan focuses on three key objectives:  data driven solutions, focused targeting of resources, and increased coordination among partners.  The end goal is to maintain sustainable rapid identification and outreach systems to prevent or respond quickly to new instances of veterans experiencing homelessness, thus making any veteran homelessness a rare, brief, and non-recurring experience.

Combined efforts under the Plan have greatly improved collaboration among the Veterans Affairs Medical Centers serving Virginia veterans, homeless service providers, and public housing authorities to identify all veterans experiencing homelessness and quickly move them into housing with appropriate services.

To kick start the new collaborative approach, Virginia¹s first 100 Day Challenge was launched in October 2014; 462 homeless veterans were housed by the beginning of February 2015.  By June, 743 homeless veterans had been placed in permanent housing.