published Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Chattanooga mentioned in Obama challenge to end chronic homelessness

  • photo
    President Barack Obama speaks to reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room in this file photo.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The Obama administration announced Wednesday the creation of a challenge to city mayors across the country to end veteran homelessness in their communities by 2015.

Among a list of 75 mayors, county and state officials, Chattanooga was listed as the only city in Tennessee that has already made this pledge.

In April, Mayor Andy Berke signed an executive order that established a coalition to study veteran homelessness and then pledged to find a solution by the end of 2016.

In his proposed 2015 budget, Berke has allocated $125,000 to focus on helping homeless veterans find permanent housing.

The federal government has pledged to provide resources to cities that introduce these types of programs. According to a U.S. Housing and Urban Development news release, these resources and reforms, when implemented in local communities, can include:

• Prioritizing the most vulnerable veterans, especially those experiencing chronic homelessness, for permanent supportive housing opportunities;

• Coordinating outreach efforts to identify and engage every veteran experiencing homelessness and focus outreach efforts on achieving housing outcomes;

• Targeting rapid rehousing interventions toward veterans who need shorter-term rental subsidies and services to be reintegrated back into our communities;

• Leveraging housing and services resources that can help veterans who are ineligible for some of the VA's programs get into stable housing;

• Increasing early detection and access to preventive services so at‐risk veterans remain stably housed; and

• Closely monitoring progress toward the goal, including the success of programs achieving permanent housing outcomes.

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