Thousands of homeless vets and their families have permanent roofs over their heads in Houston, Texas thanks to an aggressive effort to eliminate veteran homelessness.
At least 4,114 formerly homeless veterans, and their spouses and children, have been housed since 2012– which nearly cut in half the city’s homeless population.
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Houston’s effort, dubbed “The Way Home,” takes the ‘Housing First’ approach — putting the homeless in permanent housing before tackling any underlying issues that led to their situation. The program allowed Utah to reduce homelessness by 91% over ten years.
2015 saw repeated milestones reached by those combating veteran homelessness: In January, New Orleans, Louisiana became the first city in the U.S. to eliminate it; Connecticut became the first state to end chronic homelessness among veterans in August; and Virginia, the first state to functionally eliminate it for all its veterans in November.
A monumental effort coordinated between more than 70 government, business, religious, nonprofit, and charitable groups to tackle the homelessness problem, earned Houston an award in December from the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
“Houston’s achievement shows what we can accomplish when we have the resources and the determination to change lives for the better,” Nan Roman, President and CEO of the Alliance, said.
(WATCH the video from Houston Homeless Org below) — Photo: Katie Haugland, CC