Philadelphia, PA, April 6, 2016 – PhillyVetsHome2015, a collaborative venture of government agencies and private non-profit organizations will achieve the goal of “functional zero” regarding veteran homelessness in Philadelphia on, or before, Wednesday, November 11th, 2015.
This declaration means a great deal for our city. It means every veteran who has crossed our coalition’s path since August 2013 will be housed. Moreover, the resources will be in place in Philadelphia for any future veteran who experiences homelessness to find a home. After November 11th, 2015, if homelessness should occur in a veteran’s life, it will be rare, brief and non-reoccurring.
This does not mean that there will never be a homeless veteran on the streets of Philadelphia, but that a veteran in transition will be able to easily access a system of support to find and maintain housing should he or she desire it.
We have accomplished this goal by housing 862 homeless veterans since August 2013 and connecting an additional 560 Veterans with the resources needed to find and maintain a home. We will reach functional zero when all of the 560 veterans who are “connected with a program” achieve their housing goals.
The coalition, using resources like Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) and HUD-VASH (Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing) has worked tirelessly to meet the specific needs of each Veteran who crosses our doorstep. We have developed and maintain a “by-name” list of every homeless veteran in Philadelphia and it will track progress towards the goal of stable housing for each homeless veteran.
On April 16th, 2015 all involved agencies, along with representatives and community stakeholders, will gather for the final “homestretch” meeting to plan the months to come as we move toward this monumental milestone for the City of Philadelphia and veterans in the community.