Collaboration Helps Drive Decrease in Veteran Homelessness

City of Miami and Miami-Dade County mayors join Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness

[Photo 1: Homeless person on bench]

The number of homeless veterans in a city on any given night varies, and is difficult to measure at any point in time. Most cities perform random periodic counts to determine the number and demographic of homeless individuals, including homeless veterans. In the Miami-Dade area, homeless counts over the last few years indicate that the general homeless veteran population is decreasing; this is in part due to the efforts of the various agencies that make up the Miami-Dade Continuum of Care, HUD and the Department of Veteran Affairs, VA.

Increased outreach efforts that started around 2011 identified greater numbers of homeless veterans in the Miami-Dade area. Once identified and additional resources such as the HUD-VASH housing voucher were effectively deployed the numbers have begun to see improvement. In the greater Miami Dade area, there has been a 14% county-wide decrease in the number of homeless veterans on the street compared to 2013. The leaders and homeless providers in Miami-Dade realize that one homeless veteran is one too many. That is one of the reasons why both the Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Gimenez, and the Mayor of the City of Miami, Tomas Regalado, have signed on to the Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness. This initiative asks Mayors from across the country to commit energy and resources to ending veteran homelessness in their areas by the end of 2015.

[Photo 2: Homeless person with child]

On September 3, 2014 the Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare for the Homeless Veterans Program hosted the Community Homeless Assessment Local Education and Networking Groups, Project CHALENG []. Project CHALENG was initially created to raise awareness, learn new information and enhance the coordination of veteran homeless services while bringing together other federal, state and local community partner agencies. HUD Miami Field Office Director, Armando Fana, was joined by VA administrators and other community leaders in championing the cause of ending veteran homelessness through an increased focus on collaboration, resources and risk assessment that has proven successful in other places.

Also, Miami is one of 25 cities selected for an initiative to help communities with high concentrations of homelessness to intensify and integrate local efforts to end veteran homelessness by 2015. This is a joint effort by VA, HUD, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and local community partners (local government, housing authorities, community providers) to identify all of the remaining homeless veterans and chronically homeless in their respective communities and work together to find permanent housing solutions. To learn more about the 25 Cities Initiative visit: VA [].


Content Archived: February 8, 2016