Chesco exceeds goal, housing 121 veterans in 100 days
Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
“Joseph Lewis, an Army veteran, lost his job as a security guard, and then his home, when the osteoporosis in his feet prevented him from standing for long periods.
He lived on the streets of Coatesville, his hometown, because he did not want to burden his family.
The Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center housed him temporarily and helped him find work at a warehouse. This year, he set a goal to celebrate his birthday in his own home.
Lewis turned 50 on Saturday, a week after moving into his new two-bedroom apartment in Coatesville.
“I’m so happy I don’t know what to do with myself,” he said.
Lewis was one of 121 veterans – from young adults to seniors – who found permanent housing in Chester County in its latest campaign to house 100 veterans in 100 days. Wednesday was the 100th day of the campaign.”
Read more at www.philly.com
Check out PhillyVetsHome Partners (the Veterans Multi-Service Center and Pathways to Housing PA) featured in the latest issue of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development HUDLine News…
Richard Ott, Deputy Regional Administrator
(215) 656-0600, hud.gov/pennsylvania
Associate Editor: Niki Edwards, email@example.com
Last month, HUD’s Philadelphia Regional Office supported the Federal Executive Board’s Homeless to Housed Drive, filling its conference room with employee donations for three Philadelphia nonprofit organizations. Household items, ranging from comforters to towels, were collected for veterans and other individuals experiencing homelessness. “The donated goods will be used to create welcome baskets to help these people get started and encourage them to stay in their new home,” said Federal Executive Board Executive Director Lisa Makosewski in her memo to federal agencies, requesting support for the drive. “The needed items are things that many of us take for granted, but for someone who is moving into a home with nothing to bring from their previous address, the basics can turn a house into a home.” The FEB’s primary mission involves the coordination and support of intergovernmental and community activities in the Delaware Valley, bridging the gap of communication and collaboration for more than 170 federal entities. This is the second year it has sponsored the drive.
Donations were given to the Veterans Multi-Service Center (VMC), Pathways to Housing PA and The Dreuding Center. Since 1980, the VMC has been serving those who have served. According to VMC Director of Development Debby Derricks, HUD’s donations will help 75 veterans and families make their houses into homes. She said over the last year the nonprofit has been busy fulfilling its mission. “We have provided housing for over 500 veterans and their families, placed 300 veterans in jobs and served approximately 175,000 meals.” said Derricks. A recipient of their assistance is Navy veteran Albert Ayers, who signed a lease for an apartment in April. Upon moving into his new home, he was presented with a welcome basket. Now, his goal is to find employment to increase his income and stabilize his housing. Above left, Warren Davis with the Veterans Multi-Service Center picks up HUD’s donations from Ben Houck and Joe Nicodemo. At right, Navy veteran Albert Ayers poses for a photo in his new home
Philadelphia, PA, May 22, 2015 – PhillyVetsHome, a collaborative venture of government agencies and non-profit organizations has made tremendous headway towards ending Veteran homelessness in Philadelphia.
According to the 2015 Point-In-Time (PIT) count released this month by the Office of Supportive Housing, the number of Veterans experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia continues to decrease.
Since 2013, the number of Veterans experiencing homelessness of any kind decreased by 23%; the number of unsheltered Veterans experiencing street homelessness decreased by 86%; and over 900 Veterans have moved into housing.
PhillyVetsHome partners attribute the incredible progress of the past year to unprecedented collaboration of government and nonprofit agencies and believe this success suggests a model for other pressing issues facing the City of Philadelphia.
Last month, the PhillyVetsHome along with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced an ambitious end date to Veteran homelessness in the city: Veterans Day 2015. After November 11th, 2015, if homelessness should occur in a Veteran’s life, it will be rare, brief and non-reoccurring.
Philadelphia is one of 25 Cities identified by the Department of Veteran Affairs, with exceptionally high concentrations of homeless Veterans and selected to intensify and integrate local efforts to end Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. This is a joint effort by VA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and local community partners to find permanent housing solutions for Veterans experiencing homelessness. Of the 25 Cities participating in this initiative, only one city has reached the goal to date.
With the recent release of the PIT Count, PhillyVetsHome believes Philadelphia could be next.
April 23, 2015:
Impact Services Corporation won the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporation’s (PACDC) Blue Ribbon Award for Best Large Community Project for 2015. Impact Services will be completing The Veterans Family Center, fully subsidized apartments for low-income veteran families by November 11, 2015. The Center will be a newly renovated factory located at 1940 East Allegheny Avenue and will house 26 two-and three-bedroom apartments for Veterans and their families.
Let’s congratulate these Philly Vets Home 2015 partners on a job well done!
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.
Philly Vets Home has been working tirelessly in trying to reach our 100 Day Goal! We set our goal at 134 housed and of those, 30 will be chronically homeless.
February 18, 2015 was Day 90 and our current numbers are 122 Move-ins, of those 55 are chronically homeless!
We are getting close! Let’s keep up the great work Team!