As partners and part of the design team here in San Diego, we are working toward the common goal of ending homelessness through establishing partnerships with local non-profits, businesses, city agencies, individuals and churches.
In March 2014 the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) launched the 25 Cities Initiative to assist communities with high concentrations of homeless Veterans in intensifying and integrating their local efforts to end Veteran homelessness. As of August 31, 2014, the efforts of the 25 Cities Initiative has helped to house 10,096 homeless Veterans and non-Veterans. However, there are still approximately 40,000 homeless individuals in these cities who are in need of assistance. Through this initiative and others, communities are rising up to help to meet this challenge.
This initiative is a joint effort by VA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), and local community partners to support the 25 communities with resources, guidance, and lessons learned as they build out and enhance their existing local homeless programs. Through the initiative, VA and its federal partners are identifying, by name, all of the remaining known homeless Veterans in their respective communities and are working to find permanent housing solutions for these Veterans and for other chronically homeless individuals.
The 25 Cities Initiative aims to help each community integrate existing programs, while also accelerating local initiatives and plans already underway. This initiative recognizes that ending Veteran homelessness requires strong coordination between all partners and stakeholders who are working to end homelessness in a community. A concerted effort has been made to strengthen identification, prioritization, and matching services for homeless Veterans, while improving existing intake data reporting so that homeless Veterans can be better paired with available services. Currently, every locality is using one common assessment tool to streamline this process. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to integrate community and VA resources to address the needs of homeless in these areas and connect them with a network of service offerings.
Participants in the 25 Cities Initiative include – Atlanta • Baltimore • Boston • Chicago • Denver • Detroit • Fresno • Honolulu • Houston • Las Vegas • Los Angeles • Miami • New Orleans • New York City • Orlando • Philadelphia • Phoenix • Portland • Riverside • San Diego • San Francisco • Seattle • Tampa • Tucson • Washington, DC