Tomorrow when we #RallyForZero, we will all wear camouflage t-shirts to symbolize the unity of our coalition and the often invisibility of an important and issue: Veteran Homelessness.
As we gather in Love Park (16th & JFK) and march down Broad Street, we hope to bring Veteran Homelessness to the forefront and encourage the public to join us in this “homestretch” to Veterans Day!
On Aug. 4, CMCVAMC hosted a roundtable which brought together multiple agencies in the local Philadelphia area who are collaborating on ending Veteran homelessness in Philly by Nov. 11. During the event, a U.S. Army Veteran shared his homeless experience. Watch the video to find out more!
Posted by Philadelphia VA Medical Center on Monday, August 31, 2015
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!)
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!
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.