FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – The State of Connecticut has been designated by the federal government as the first state in the nation to have ended chronic homelessness among veterans, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Thursday.
A count of chronically homeless veterans earlier this year found only 41 in Connecticut, a decrease of 45 percent. A report said that through Connecticut’s efforts, nearly 300 veterans previously experiencing chronic homelessness have been permanently housed.
This announcement means that all known veterans experiencing chronic homelessness are either housed or are on an immediate path to permanent housing. Also, the state will be able to rapidly place any veteran who newly experiences chronic homelessness on the path to permanent housing.
Chronic homelessness is defined as an individual with a disability who has been homeless for a period of at least one year or has experienced four separate episodes of homelessness in the past three years.
“We are truly a national leader on these issues, because our veterans deserve access to housing, quality health care, education, and career opportunities. It’s our obligation to deliver for them, and that’s just what we’re doing as a state,” Malloy said.
“We established this bold goal to end homelessness among our veterans ... because it’s morally right.”
U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald praised Connecticut.
“President Obama has made a bold goal to end veteran homelessness by the end of this year. ... Here in Connecticut, you’ve responded to that challenge by helping the most vulnerable homeless veterans find permanent housing,” McDonald said. “Americans understand and believe, as I do, that no one who has fought for this country should have to fight to keep a roof over their head."
The primary resource for housing veterans experiencing chronic homelessness are vouchers provided through the Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program.
“VA CT and its homeless programs are pleased to be working with such a rich array of accomplished and committed partners to address the disgraceful issue of homelessness among our country’s veterans," said Connecticut Veterans Affairs Commissioner Sean Connolly. "We are proud of our results as we again lead the country in addressing complicated social issues.”
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