State of Del. Joins Push to End Homelessness for Vets - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

State of Del. Joins Push to End Homelessness for Vets

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Delaware Gov. Jack Markell speaks about ending veterans homelessness in the First State, Monday, May 4, 2015. (Photo: news.delaware.gov) Delaware Gov. Jack Markell speaks about ending veterans homelessness in the First State, Monday, May 4, 2015. (Photo: news.delaware.gov)
DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - The state of Delaware is joining in a push to end homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015.

Last year the federal government and national organizations asked mayors across America to work to put an end to veteran homelessness in their cities. The city of Dover announced this past fall it was taking up that challenge.

According to Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen, the federal government estimates there are about 250 homeless veterans in Delaware with about 100 in Kent County.

Christiansen says since the fall the city has identified more than 20 homeless vets by name and started getting them services.

"We're working with them and with state social services, veterans affairs groups to give them all the information they need. We're working with them as individuals to get them housed, get them educated and make them self sustaining," he said. "We're hoping for zero homeless vets being left in the state by the end of December. Realistically that may not happen. But the fact of the matter is we have established a goal and a time frame."

The new statewide effort to end veteran homelessness, like Dover's, involves a number of aspects - continuing to track the population of homeless vets, dedicating 20 rental assistance vouchers to veterans through the state and doing a better job of coordinating between veteran-specific and mainstream homeless resources.

Gary Dawkins spent more than seven years in the army four more in the national guard. He's an example of a vet who unfortunately found himself homeless.

"I went down to Home of the Brave," said Dawkins. "They told me the services that they had. I used the services there. That's how I got back on my feet again."

Dawkins says organizations working together is important.

"It's going to help a lot of veterans who are in worse situations than I am."

In Sussex County Georgetown is also participating in the mayor's challenge, as are Wilmington and Newark in New Castle County.
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