|HUD No. 15-020
May 27, 2015
SUMMIT SEEKS TO ACCELERATE EFFORTS TO END VETERAN HOMELESSNESS IN ALABAMA
BIRMINGHAM, AL - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr. and Alabama State University President Gwendolyn Boyd led a one day Summit on Veteran Homelessness to ensure a synchronized approach between housing and service providers to add momentum to their efforts in reducing veteran homelessness.
The summit, held on the campus of Alabama State University, included the participation of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and more than 80 local and state stakeholders immersed in the efforts to eliminate veteran homelessness. The event looked into best practices to appropriately count veterans in the systems that already exist, and analyzed the barriers to being housed promptly; it also searched for the expansion of options for veteran families.
"We are seeing significant progress in reducing the number of homeless on their streets in several Alabama communities," said HUD Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr. "I am proud of the work that our Alabama HUD team has been doing, under the leadership of Michael German, in reaching out to key partners to build a coalition to better serve our homeless veterans."
The Veterans Administration Southeast Network shared best practices that could be emulated by some of the communities. Representatives from public housing authorities, Continuum of Cares (COCs) and Entitlements of Alabama discussed the HUD-VASH Program and its impact for the areas of Auburn, Birmingham, Bessemer, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Opelika, Tuscaloosa, Tuskegee and Jefferson County.
Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers. Since 2008 more than 68,000 vouchers have been awarded and over 80,000 homeless veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program.
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