At their 2014 Awards Ceremony, the National Alliance to End Homelessness put the spotlight on two communities, New York City and New Orleans, as leaders in the fight to end veteran homelessness in America.
Yesterday, at their 2014 Awards Ceremony, the National Alliance to End Homelessness put the spotlight on two communities, New York City and New Orleans, as leaders in the fight to end veteran homelessness in America. In the last three years, communities across the country, led by New York City and New Orleans, have cut their numbers of veterans experiencing homelessness by more than 50 percent.
The New York City Continuum of Care (CoC), co-led by the Network's Nicole Branca, and the CoC Veterans Task Force, led by Julie Irwin, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Alyson Zikmund, NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS), has achieved an astounding 64 percent reduction in veteran homelessness (3,032 fewer homeless veterans).
Ms. Branca said, "This remarkable benchmark would not have been possible without the unique resources brought to the table by providers, advocates and the multitude of agencies involved. I'm proud to be part of the CoC and Veteran Task Force leadership and look forward to our continued partnership to end veteran homelessness in our city."
In addition to Ms. Irwin, Ms. Zikmund and Ms. Branca, the New York City delegation included Brian Bardell, Volunteers of America; Craig Retchless, NYC Human Resources Administration; Adam Wawrynek representing Services for the UnderServed’s SSVF program; and Benjamin Chervat of DHS.
NAEH and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) deserve real credit for their steadfast support of this campaign, as does the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), for the significant resources they have devoted to ending veteran homelessness, which were utterly critical to the campaign’s success. It is the Network’s sincere hope that we can work together to bring this same perseverance and resources to fight homelessness for all men, women and children.
According to numbers released last week by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness on a given night in America has declined by 11 percent since 2013, and 33 percent since 2009. During January 2014, volunteers counted 49,933 veterans out of a total of 578,424 people experiencing homelessness (or 9 percent).
"Thanks to cities like New York that have implemented innovative homeless assistance programs for veterans, we have achieved an historic 33 percent decline in veteran homelessness," said Alliance President and CEO Nan Roman. "They are showing what we can accomplish when we have the resources and the determination to change lives for the better." Find out more here.