Philadelphia Continues in Ending Veteran Homelessness
Philadelphia, PA – January 9, 2015 –Philadelphia is closer than ever to eliminating veteran homelessness. Steve Culbertson, Director of Veteran and Housing Programs at Impact Services Corporation noted “Through a unique collaboration in the City, we are more than 50% of the way toward the goal of ending veteran homelessness in Philadelphia. We have housed 620 veterans since August of 2013. We will fight for every vet who needs housing to find a decent affordable place to live. It is the least we can do for their service.”
Philadelphia is part of the VA “25 Cities Initiative” which aims to build on President Obama’s 2009 announcement to end Veteran Homelessness by 2015. As cities with high veteran populations successfully stamp out veteran homelessness, as the City of New Orleans announced last week, the once wildly ambitious goal appears all the more attainable for Philadelphia.
Martha Kegel, Director of UNITY, the organization that led the final push in providing housing for homeless veterans in New Orleans, shed light on how this can be achieved in priority cities, “Of course you understand that going forward, it’s not like no one is ever going to become homeless again, but it’s about having a rapid response system in place so that the number of veterans who are in homelessness at any given point is never more than what you can house that month.” The VMC and other organizations spearheading the initiative locally, are following a similar model and after tremendous progress, expects to end veteran homelessness in Philadelphia by the end of this year.
About the Veteran’s Multi Service Center (VMC) – Since 1980, the VMC has existed solely to “serve those who served” this great nation and their families. We are the only non-profit agency in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas that provides a comprehensive resource center available to all Veterans In 2014 alone, the VMC housed over 500+ veterans and families and has boosted public discussion of Veteran Homelessness through their #RewriteTheCardboard social media campaign. For more information about the VMC, visit: www.VMCenter.org
About Impact Services – For 39 years, Impact Services, a non-profit in the Kensington area of Philadelphia, has worked to address the root causes of poverty and alleviate neighborhood distress. Impact’s Veteran Services department serves over 300 veterans a year offering homeless and disadvantaged veterans comprehensive sets of housing, employment, and supportive services.
About the City’s Office of Supportive Housing –The mission of the Office of Supportive Housing is to assist individuals and families in moving towards independent living and self-sufficiency in safe and stable housing through Philadelphia’s homeless Continuum of Care.
Published January 9, 2015