Following Virginia’s lead, all veterans who need a home in the state of Connecticut can now get one. This move makes the state the second in the US to end homelessness for those who have served their country.
Virginia must find a home for any veteran who wants one within 90 days of submitting an application, and though Las Vegas, and Syracuse and Schenectady in New York are attempting similar programs, Connecticut has beaten them in the race to end homelessness in America.
Utah has a program for the homeless as well, though it gives apartments to the chronically under-housed, instead of focusing on just Veterans. In just eight years, the state has reduced homelessness by 78 percent. Citizens call the program a ‘housing-first’ solution to multiple social problems.
According to the Connecticut Point in Time Count [CT PIT 2012], 10% of single homeless adults have served in the military. A total of 330 homeless veterans were identified in Connecticut, but now almost all of them have homes.
Last year, Governor Malloy announced several initiatives aimed at combating veteran homelessness with the goal of ending the chronic problem by the end of 2015. The state has since made major investments in housing, becoming a national leader for its work.
Governor Malloy said in a statement:
“We have set a high bar – and . . . we’re on our way to achieving it. We are truly a national leader on these issues, because our veterans deserve access to housing, quality health care, education, and career opportunities. It’s our obligation to deliver for them, and that’s just what we’re doing as a state.
We established this bold goal to end homelessness among our veterans not because it’s good for our economy and makes communities stronger, but because it’s morally right. Ending chronic veteran homelessness is just another step forward and another marker of progress towards reaching our goal of ending all veteran homelessness by the end of this year.”
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans says that on any given night in the US, more than 47,500 are homeless. More than 500,000 people in the US, not necessarily with military backgrounds, are also homeless.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.