U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) New England Regional Administrator David Tille congratulated City of Dover Mayor Robert Carrier; City of Rochester Mayor Caroline McCarley and City of Somersworth Mayor Dana Hilliard as they committed to ending veteran homelessness in the Tri-City area by signing on to the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.
The Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness is a call to action for all mayors and other state and local leaders to publicly commit to making sure that every veteran who served America has a home in America.
To be recognized as having achieved the goal, communities must meet the requirements laid out in the federal Criteria and Benchmarks for Ending Veteran Homelessness, which are intended to help communities drive down the number of veterans experiencing homelessness to as close to zero as possible, while building systems that support long-term, lasting solutions.
Since its launch in June of 2014, many communities across the country have achieved the goal.
“We’re excited by the enthusiasm local Mayors are showing for ending veteran homelessness in their communities,” said David Tille, HUD New England Regional Administrator. “By working together to combine federal and local resources and use best practices to create a local strategy, we can end veteran homelessness in New England and across the country. I want to thank our Tri-City Mayors and all the Mayors who have already signed up for the challenge and encourage more to do so.”
“The Hilltop City will continue to hold our promise to support those who have served our county,” said City of Somersworth Mayor Dana Hilliard. “Our veterans gave their all at defending and holding true to the principles of democracy, as elected officials and citizens we must do the same.”
To aid the mayors in pursuit of the goal of ending homelessness among veterans, the federal government has provided resources and enforced programs to strengthen our country’s homeless assistance programs. These resources and reforms, when implemented in local communities, can include:
• Using a Housing First approach, which removes barriers to help veterans obtain permanent housing as quickly as possible, without unnecessary prerequisites;
• Prioritizing the most vulnerable veterans, especially those experiencing chronic homelessness, for permanent supportive housing opportunities, including those created through the HUD-VASH program which offers vital housing assistance in the form of a rental voucher. Approximately 144,000 homeless veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program since 2008;
• Coordinating outreach efforts to identify and engage every veteran experiencing homelessness and focus outreach efforts on achieving housing outcomes;
• Targeting rapid rehousing interventions, including those made possible through the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, toward veterans who need shorter-term rental subsidies and services in order to be reintegrated back into our communities;
• Leveraging housing and services resources that can help veterans who are ineligible for some of the VA’s programs get into stable housing;
• Increasing early detection and access to preventive services so at‐risk veterans remain stably housed; and
• Closely monitoring progress toward the goal, including the success of programs achieving permanent housing outcomes.
Find out ways you can get involved in local efforts to end veteran homelessness in your own community by visiting here.