3/21/2017 6:00:00 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Anna Long, MDVA
St. Paul, Minn. – Today, 18 counties in Southwest Minnesota announced they have cleared their housing waiting list for homeless Veterans. In a letter to the Southwest Continuum of Care (CoC) region, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, HUD, and VA, determined these counties have effectively ended homelessness among Veterans, becoming the 40th community in the nation to do so. The Southwest CoC is Minnesota’s first region to reach this historic goal.
These counties include:
“These 18 counties in Southwestern Minnesota are committed to honoring the men and women who have served our state and our country by establishing a strategic plan that prevents Veterans homelessness from occurring whenever possible. The plan also ensures that when homelessness does occur, it is rare, brief, and non-recurring,” said Cathy ten Broeke, State Director to Prevent and End Homelessness.
This progress is the result of a joint statewide goal to end Veteran homelessness in Minnesota. The Minnesota Interagency Council on Homelessness – made up of Commissioners of 11 State agencies, the Chair of the Metropolitan Council, and Governor Mark Dayton’s office – have partnered with mayors from 10 Minnesota communities, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans and private and public sector organizations as part of this commitment.
In 2014 the Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs and partners launched a /mdva/resources/homelessnessandprevention/homelessveteranregistry.jspstatewide Homeless Veterans Registry focused on housing all Minnesota Veterans experiencing homelessness. This Registry has accelerated Minnesota’s progress toward the goal by creating individual housing plans based on each Veteran’s unique challenges and situation.
Since December 2014, Minnesota has housed 856 previously homeless Veterans statewide. Today, the state knows of another 196 Veterans by name who are experiencing homelessness in Minnesota. Research demonstrates that the most lasting solutions are personalized for each individual or family experiencing homelessness. Once on the Registry, Veterans experiencing homelessness are typically housed within four months.
“Homelessness among Veterans is a problem that we can solve,” said Commissioner Larry Shellito, MDVA. “Together with our partners we are committed to bringing our Veterans ‘all the way home.’”
Anyone who knows of a Veteran experiencing homelessness can also connect them with services by calling 1-888-LinkVet (546-5838).
The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is a cabinet level state agency dedicated to serving Minnesota Veterans and their families. In addition to overseeing the five State Veterans Homes, MDVA helps eligible Veterans and families secure state and federal benefits and provides programs and services relating to higher education, benefits, burial, claims, outreach and Veterans employment. Veterans and their families are encouraged to visit www.MinnesotaVeteran.org or call 1-(888)-LinkVet for more information about benefits.