November 9, 2012 -- As Veteran’s Day approaches, heroes who once risked their lives to defend their country but now are homeless are getting much needed assistance from an unprecedented, community-wide effort to house homeless military veterans with disabilities.
The City of Houston, the Houston Housing Authority, Harris County, the Veterans Administration and local community organizations recently teamed with organizations ranging from Harris County Community Services to SEARCH to develop a bold plan to find homes, social services and jobs for veterans who are in danger of dying in Houston’s streets. More than 200 homeless veterans now have a place to call home as a result of this initiative. This is double the number of veterans helped as of September.
"The original goal was to house 100 homeless vets in 100 days,” said Mayor Parker. “We have now doubled that number, but I won't be satisfied until all our heroes have a safe place to stay at night. To accomplish this goal we will need all of our community partners to remain engaged. Our homeless veterans also have a role to play by accepting the helping hand that is being offered to them."
“These brave men and women served our country, and now their lives are at risk on the same streets that thousands of us drive every day,” said Houston Housing Authority President & CEO Tory Gunsolley. “We cut through all the red tape and brought together all available resources to help these veterans find safe, affordable homes and a fresh start.”
Experts estimate there are nearly 1,500 veterans who are homeless in the greater Houston area. The Houston Housing Authority is working with the VA and other community organizations to help secure a permanent home, job training and job placement, healthcare to treat mental and health disabilities and other support services for chronically homeless individuals as part of an intensive plan to help Houston’s heroes.
Other organizations participating in the unprecedented effort include the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the City of Houston’s Office of Veteran Affairs, U.S. Department of Housing and Community Development, Harris County Housing Authority, Harris County Community Services Department, SEARCH, the Housing Corporation, Career and Recovery Resources, Inc., Catholic Charities, Goodwill Industries, Neighborhood Centers, Inc., US Vets, Cloudbreak Communities, Healthcare for the Homeless, Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority, the Houston Police Department and the Houston/Harris County Coalition for the Homeless.