GREENSBORO – The City of Greensboro is ramping up its fight to end veteran homelessness with the Homes for Heroes campaign, announced today as part of a joint media briefing with representatives from Partners Ending Homelessness. The initiative is part of the Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness and Zero:2016, programs designed to end veteran homelessness, as it is known today, in participating communities by the end of 2015.
Through the Homes for Heroes campaign, the City is encouraging property owners and landlords to sign up to offer housing to currently homeless veterans. Each homeless veteran will receive case management and support through organizations involved in the effort to end Vet homelessness, such as the VA and Salvation Army. It is estimated that as many as 86 Guilford County veterans will need housing over the remainder of 2015.
“In Greensboro alone, we have 47 veterans who are currently homeless (as of January 2015),” says Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan. “As we prepare to celebrate our nation’s independence in a few weeks, it’s the perfect time to honor the men and women who have helped us maintain our freedom. Some of those folks have fallen on hard times and we owe it to them to lift them back up and, through this program, help them find housing and get back on their feet.”
Darryl Kosciak, executive director of Partners Ending Homelessness, says that there is work to be done to eradicate veteran homelessness, but that it is an attainable goal through community partnerships and determination. “As a community, we want to work toward ensuring that every veteran is placed in permanent housing,” says Kosciak. “We want to join cities like New Orleans, Salt Lake City and Phoenix that have reached ‘functional zero’ by ensuring that there is a quick resolution in place if a veteran becomes homeless.”
In January of 2015, Greensboro joined the City of Winston-Salem in signing on to the Mayors Challenge. Concurrently, Guilford County was accepted into the national Zero:2016 campaign (http://cmtysolutions.org/zero2016). Since January, 78 veterans have been placed into housing, 46 through the Salvation Army Greensboro in partnership with the Federal Supportive Services for Veterans and Families (SSVF) grant, five through the VA, and 27 via other avenues to housing.
Property owners and landlords can sign up at http://www.partnersendinghomelessness.org/action to receive further information and join this effort by listing their properties for homeless veterans and their families. Representatives from Partners Ending Homelessness will contact everyone who signs up.