April 20, 2015:
First Lady Michelle Obama joined Mayor Landrieu of New Orleans last week to celebrate New Orleans reaching Functional Zero! New Orleans was named the first city in the United States to completely house their homeless veterans.
To read more:
First Lady Michelle Obama applauds New Orleans for housing homeless veterans
Last week PhillyVetsHome partners gathered in our HOMESTRETCH meeting to plan the final months before Ending Veteran Homelessness on Veterans Day of this year.
We kicked off the day by Defining the Goal: Functional Zero, discussing our Current Strategy, and identifying the Total Take Down Target, Assets, and the progress we have made thus far — including housing 862 homeless veterans since August 2013 and providing 560 more veterans with resources to find and maintain a home.
Partners teamed up to develop final strategies, goals, and actions of sustaining and improving our efforts in the Home Stretch with three primary emphases:
- Continuing to implement the process and strengthen the systems to engage, assess, assist and match veterans to housing
- Planning cohesive, collaborative, and clear communication
- Building a sustainable process of retention through community and resources
We concluded the Home Stretch meeting with a community pledge, committing to our goal of ending veteran homelessness by Veterans day and identifying our roles and responsibilities individually and collectively to make it possible.
Our HomeStretch Strategy meeting was followed by a press conference where the Mayor publicly announced our goal date to End Veteran Homelessness in the City of Philadelphia.
We are excited about the progress we have made over the past years, and recognize we still face many new obstacles ahead and can use YOUR support! If you are interested in how YOU can help, learn more here OR drop us a note!
(You can also see MORE photos from the HomeStretch Meeting & Press Conference!)
Meet Mr. Ayers, an honorably discharged Navy Veteran who was chronically homeless when we met him just weeks ago…Today, we are proud to share he has a home of his own! (complete with a free bed, furniture from the VMC Thrift Store, and a “Welcome Basket” of essential household items!)
Now, that he is housed, Mr. Ayers aims to find employment in the food service industry, increase his income, and stabilize his housing!
Together, we are getting #ReadyForZero.
This was another collaborative effort to END Veteran Homelessness between SSVF and The RRH Bridge Program: The Rapid Rehousing (RRH) Bridge Program partners with Housing and Urban Development – Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) and Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) to “bridge” chronically homeless veterans and their families into housing, while they wait for their PHA lease signing.
April 20, 2015 — The White House released a FACT SHEET outlining Local Progress, Administrative Efforts, and Community Strategies to prevent and end veteran homelessness in the US.
Check out some of the Community Strategies they proposed:
Creating coordinated assessment and entry systems to ensure that there is no wrong door for veterans seeking help and to create more efficient pathways out of homelessness and into permanent housing;
Conducting coordinated outreach and engagement efforts to proactively seek out veterans in need of assistance, sharing information across outreach teams and sites, and collaborating across systems, including law enforcement, prisons and jails, hospitals, libraries, and job centers;
Identifying all veterans experiencing homelessness within the community by name and creating a shared list of veterans experiencing homelessness to ensure that no veteran and his or her family falls through the cracks and that all are linked to the most appropriate housing and services options;
Setting concrete and ambitious monthly or quarterly goals for helping veterans and their families get back into housing as a strategy for pushing local systems to perform with maximum efficiency and achieve better outcomes;
Implementing Housing First practices and approaches across every part of the homelessness services and housing systems, removing barriers to help veterans and their families obtain permanent housing as quickly as possible, without unnecessary prerequisites; and
Increasing connections to employment by collaborating with Workforce Investment Boards, homelessness services and housing organization, VA Medical Centers, and employers, recognizing that employment and income are critical to the ability of people to obtain and sustain housing stability and avoid future crises.
View entire White House FACT SHEET here
PhillyVetsHome2015 is proud to report that we have many of these strategies in place! Let’s END Veteran Homelessness, Philadelphia!
HUD AND VA TO HELP MORE THAN 9,000 HOMELESS VETERANS FIND PERMANENT HOMES
HUD-VASH vouchers to build on national effort to end veteran homelessness
WASHINGTON – In the ongoing effort to end veteran homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced nearly $65 million to help more than 9,300 homeless veterans find a permanent place to call home. The rental assistance announced today is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA.
HUD-VASH works in reducing veteran homelessness because it provides funding for both the housing and supportive services that are essential for ending homelessness for tens of thousands of veterans nationwide.
Of the nearly $65 million, $ 520,463 is allotted for Veterans in the City of Philadelphia.
Read the full report from HUD.
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden published an Op Ed Piece to urge all Americans to join in the effort to help end Veteran Homelessness…
“Everyone who has served America deserves a home in America. And while we know that we’ll never be able to prevent every single housing crisis for our veterans, we also know that if we set up the right systems in our communities and devote enough resources, we can get our veterans and their families back into housing quickly — and permanently”
The article mentions how businesses can individuals are getting involved through the creation of Welcome Home Kits and describes the importance that these kits can make!
Read the full article here
How can YOU get involved to help Veterans in Philadelphia? Consider the suggestion of the First Lady & Dr Biden — help to provide Veterans items at Move-In!
APRIL 16, 2015
Philadelphia to end homelessness for veterans by November
by Jessica McDonald, WHYY
In fewer than seven months, the city of Philadelphia aims to get every homeless veteran off the streets.
Mayor Michael Nutter revealed the timeframe for the lofty goal on Thursday to a packed room of government officials and non-profit workers.
“While every Veterans Day is respected and revered in Philadelphia,” he said, “this upcoming Veterans Day of course will be an even greater day of celebration when we announce that we have ended veteran homelessness in Philadelphia.”
The citywide push is part of a national effort to find homes for all vets by the end of 2015. Last summer Nutter signed on to the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama, and Philadelphia is one of 25 cities receiving extra resources from the VA to support the cause.
The key to success, organizers said, is collaboration. Philadelphia non-profit leaders said for the first time they are sharing lists and have sufficient resources.
Read full article at Newsworks.org
Did you catch us on CBS Philly?
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter joined us as we announced our goal to END Veteran Homelessness by Veterans Day 2015!
Watch the Mayor make this announcement here!
IN PHILADELPHIA, ZERO IS AND WILL ALWAYS BE ZERO.
Zero means that every veteran who is literally homeless will have the opportunity to find permanent housing. Zero also means that every Veteran who is at risk of homelessness will have the opportunity to prevent homelessness in their lives. Veterans are “all persons who served in the armed forces, regardless of how long they served or the type of discharge they received.”
Philadelphia currently has the resources available to assist every homeless Veteran to find permanent housing. Therefore, it is our goal that on or before November 11th, 2015, Philadelphia will find and offer housing to every Veteran experiencing homelessness.
HOW DO WE DETERMINE THAT WE ARE AT ZERO?
- If a homeless Veteran is not sheltered and not attached to a program, Philadelphia sends outreach workers and peer navigators to maintain regular contact to encourage them to come in and seek permanent housing.
- Zero will be achieved when every homeless Veteran on our list is either “housed,” in a sheltered (transitional or emergency housing facility) awaiting permanent housing, has a permanent placement available to them or is unreachable after extraordinary means are used to reach them.
FINAL PROOF OF ZERO
TBD at the Point In Time Count in January 2016.
At that time, it is anticipated that there may be a small number of unsheltered Veterans in Philadelphia who are experiencing homelessness. There will always be a place available for them in a housing program should they choose to come in from the street. This small number of unsheltered Veterans PLUS the number of sheltered “homeless” Veterans who are in transitional or emergency housing will be the total number of homeless Veterans in Philadelphia.