|HUD No. 15-013
March 9, 2015
HUD STRENGTHENS PARTNERSHIPS TO END VETERANS' HOMELESSNESS IN GREAT PLAINS REGION
KANSAS CITY, KS - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Region VII Regional Administrator Jennifer Tidwell recently announced a partnership with local officials to end veterans' homelessness in the Great Plains region by the end of 2015.
At a roundtable discussion in Kansas City, MO on February 26, over 130 local and state officials, non-profit organizations, and federal agencies gathered to discuss strategies for eliminating homelessness among veterans in the region. HUD's 2014 homelessness data reveals 1,488 veterans are homeless in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.
"Effectively transitioning Veterans experiencing homelessness to permanent housing requires access to healthcare, employment, and benefits,"said Regional Administrator Jennifer Tidwell. "This was an excellent opportunity for federal, state and local government, and non-profit agencies to come together to learn about resources and best practices to help end veteran homelessness across our communities in Region VII,"
The Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness is a collaborative effort being led by HUD, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and National League of Cities. Announced by First Lady Michelle Obama on June 6, 2014, the Challenge is a call to action to get local officials involved in eradicating veterans' homelessness in their cities by the end of 2015.
"Roundtable discussions are important to continue to build place-based initiatives that align local, regional, state, and federal efforts to end Veterans homelessness," said HUD Senior Advisor, Jennifer Ho.
"HUD is taking aggressive actions to target resources to Veterans experiencing homelessness and support communities as we all work to end Veteran homelessness by the close of 2015."
"The path toward ending veteran homelessness goes through cities," said Clarence Anthony, Executive Director of the National League of Cities. "NLC is proud to join with our federal partners to help local leaders better understand and utilize the resources available. Regional forums such as these offer city officials a unique opportunity to share and learn about best practices while improving the relationships with key stakeholders, which are necessary to ensure all veterans have a place to call home."
Nationally, to date, 475 officials have pledged to end homelessness among veterans in their communities, using the power of federal, state, local, and non-profit resources. A memorandum of understanding calls for HUD and the NLC to jointly develop and execute regional forums to raise the awareness and understanding of the benefits of joining the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. In the Great Plains region, eight officials have made a commitment to support the effort.
"I'm grateful to participate in the Mayor's Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness because we all have a duty to take care citizens who have served our nation," Kansas City, MO Mayor Sly James said. "I'm proud that Kansas City's newly opened St. Michael's Veterans Center, social services through Catholic Charities and many other initiatives are becoming a model of community support for homeless veterans."
Mayor Mark Holland of Kansas City, KS added, "Our Veterans have served with pride and dignity and deserve to live in a place called home and not on the streets of the nation they swore to protect. Moving forward, utilizing strategies and opportunities laid out by the VA and HUD while continuing to build on collaborative community partnerships, I am confident we will make a significant impact in Veterans homelessness by the end of 2015 both regionally and nationally."
Mayor Sly James, City of Kansas City, MO
Mayor Mark Holland, City of Kansas City, KS
Kendra Burgess, Office of Senator Claire McCaskill (MO)
Jim Vaughn, Office of U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver II (MO)
Amanda McGill, Office of U.S. Representative Brad Ashford (NE)
Lisa Goshen, Regional Administrator, HHS-HRSA
Nancy Thoma Groetken, Regional Administrator, HHS-ACF
Judge Ardie Bland, Kansas City Municipal Division and Veterans Treatment Court
Councilman Scott Wagner, First District, City of Kansas City, MO
Councilwoman Melba Curls, Third District, City of Kansas City, MO
Councilman Jermaine Reed, Third District-At-Large, City of Kansas City, MO
Councilman John Sharp, Sixth District, City of Kansas City, MO
Elisha Harig-Blaine, National League of Cities
Steve Eggleston, Field Office Director, Des Moines HUD Field Office
James Heard, Field Office Director, St. Louis HUD Field Office
Earl Redrick, Field Office Director, Omaha HUD Field Office
|Other participants by state:
See photos (https://www.flickr.com/photos/hudopa/sets/72157651168429850/) of the roundtable and panel discussions.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.