As of Thursday, all previously identified chronically homeless veterans are under a roof, Mayor Greg Stanton, the City Council and Project H3 Vets announced.
On Veterans Day less than two months ago, Stanton pledged the city would take the steps necessary to make sure each of these veterans was off the streets by Christmas. The next day – Nov. 12 – the City Council unanimously allocated $100,000 to accelerate efforts to place the city’s remaining 56 veterans in bridge or permanent housing.
Two years ago, Project H3 Vets identified a total of 222 chronically homeless veterans in Phoenix. The average time each of these veterans has been homeless is eight years, and more than half are veterans of the Vietnam War. Each will be transitioned into permanent housing by Arizona’s Statehood Day – Feb. 14, 2014.
Phoenix used more than $6.5 million in federal grants to fight homelessness this year. President Barack Obama praised Phoenix’s progress to house veterans during an August speech at Desert Vista High School. The City Council provided an additional $1.8 million in general funds to aid anti-homelessness efforts. Project H3 VETS is a partnership of the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness, Phoenix VA Health Care System, Arizona Department of Veteran Services, Arizona Department of Housing, Valley of the Sun United Way, Community Bridges, city of Phoenix, and others.