Progress Reported in Effort to End Veteran Homelessness in Del. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Progress Reported in Effort to End Veteran Homelessness in Del.

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Across Delaware towns have been on a mission this year to end veterans homelessness by the start of 2016.

It was just before Veterans Day 2014 Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen announced the veterans homelessness goal. The city set a goal of housing 50 homeless veterans. Bill Farley chaired the committee working toward that.

"As of [Wednesday], we can say that we are at 49. We expect to be housing our 50th veterans sometime this week," said Farley.
Farley says that number includes 21 vets considered chronically homeless.

In May Gov. Jack Markell made this a statewide objective. The state has identified 282 homeless veterans across Delaware since late January. The Delaware State Housing Authority announced Wednesday 169 of those have been put in permanent housing. Another 109 are in temporary housing. Just four remain unsheltered. Their cases are in progress.

"The biggest challenge I believe has been finding landlords who will rent to people who have low income and sometimes have other challenges," said Kim Brockenbrough, a planner at DSHA.

Mayor Christiansen says Dover is trying to address those other challenges, not just the fact that someone needs a home.

"We've also gone to the basic core of the problems they have and why they are homeless and hooked them up with various programs to help them," he said.

"The real goal is establish systems and programs that will carry on into the future," Farley said.

Volunteers will do what's called a point in time count of the state's homeless population in January. That will give a good estimate of how many vets are still homeless and how much work is left to do.

Other states participated in the challenge, too. And back in November Virginia announced it had become the first state in the national to "functionally end veteran homelessness." Virginia had housed more than 1,400 homeless vets since October 2014. 

Gov. Terry McAuliffe says the next goal is to end chronic homelessness by 2017 for all Virginians.

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