A Veterans Day Goal: End Vet Homelessness in Dover - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

A Veterans Day Goal: End Vet Homelessness in Dover

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - In conjunction with Veterans Day, the city of Dover wants to end vet homelessness by the end of 2015.

Dover will take part in the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development's 2015 Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. Mayor Robin Christiansen made that announcement this week.

He says a working committee of about 25 people has formed to come up with a plan to hit that end of 2015 goal.

Bob Robinson spent three years in the military. He has been homeless and living at the Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing for about a month.

"I've never been this way before. Thing just one way and another came to be," he said.

"There are a lot of veterans out there who are in the woods, on the street. We need to put a stop to that," said Herb Konowitz, vice chair of the Interfaith Mission.

Konowitz says shelter has been taking care of vets since its inception. And there tends to be between six and 12 homeless vets at the shelter on any given night.

But exactly how many homeless vets are in Dover is unknown. Mayor Christiansen says step one in reaching the mayors challenge goal is answering that question.

"We want to try to get a firm number. We have some folks who are going to go out and beat the bushes to get us some actual numbers. We're going to work from there," he said. "I think it's unconscionable that any veteran who has served as a warrior for this country, defending our freedom should come home and face this crisis."

Mayor Christiansen tells WBOC hud estimates a region centered around Philadelphia that includes Delaware has between 3,400 to 4,500 homeless vets.

Konowitz says the Interfaith Mission's new transitional housing facility will soon house up to a dozen disabled vets. All of this is an effort to help vets who have fallen through society's cracks.

"People fall through the cracks. Luckily, with help from the mission, I'm crawling out of a crack," Robinson said. "Within the next three months, I should be in my own place and gainfully employed."


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