Sen. John McCain and Mayor Greg Stanton have teamed up with H3 VETS to end chronic homelessness among veterans and give them a roof over their head by Christmas.
Since the project launch two years ago they have reduced chronic homelessness by 62 percent. Stanton is engaged in friendly competition with cities around the nation to be the first city to end chronic homelessness.
He spoke on Monday, Nov. 11, with partners of the H3 VETS program at Victory Place, a community center for veterans. Before the speech Stanton talked to the media about how the city and H3 VETS is ending homelessness.
“We’ve gone out and found those homeless veterans and we did a count last week in which we actually went on the streets to find those chronic homeless,” Stanton said. “The key is going after those people who have been living on the streets for a long period of time, and there are way too many of them.
“When we started there were hundreds, hundreds, and hundreds of veterans living on the streets in Phoenix and our regions,” he continued. “They are going to have a roof over there head by Christmas this year. We are all here today on Veterans Day to honor our veterans but that needs to be more than words, that needs to be actions.”
Representatives from the Arizona Department of Veteran Services, Arizona Department of Housing, Valley of the Sun United Way Community Bridges, and other partners of the program were there and spoke about ending chronic homelessness.
After representatives from the various partners in the H3 VETS spoke, McCain took the stage and spoke about veterans affairs and his experience with the military.
He began his speech by humbly quoting one of his favorite politicians, Morris Udall.
“Everything that can be possibly said about this subject has been, but not everyone has said it.”
McCain spoke about the progress of veterans program and repeated the announcement that chronically homeless veterans would have a roof over their head by Christmas.
“I have never been more proud to be a citizen of this city than I am today,” he said. “ What you have done in marvelous.”
McCain said it was important to welcome back and honor our veterans.
“We welcome, we honor, and we appreciate our veterans,” he said. “Without these brave Americans America would not be the country that it is today.”
• Matt Covert is a sophomore at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He is interning this semester for the AFN.