Kentucky Celebrates Over 170 Local Elected Officials' Commitment to End Veteran Homelessness

[Photo: Kentucky Celebrates Over 170 Local Elected Officials' Commitment to End Veteran Homelessness]
HUD Deputy Regional Director Willie Taylor, HUD Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr., HUD-VASH recipient Brent Baker, Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen, Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs Commission Heather French Henry, Kentucky Housing Corporation Executive Director Kathryn Peters, VA Intergovernmental Director Jason Cain, and HUD Kentucky Field Office Director Christopher Taylor.

Over 170 local elected officials have committed to end veteran homelessness in Kentucky in 2015 through the Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness initiative. In a celebration in which the Governor's Proclamation was presented by Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen, there were an impressive number of attendees also showing their support.

This major milestone is attributable to the hard work and leadership of the HUD Kentucky Field Office team working with committed and dedicated elected officials and partners throughout the state.

Highlighting the celebration was HUD-VASH recipient Brent Baker sharing his personal story of service to his country, to being down and out, only then to find the HUD-VASH program through his VA medical center representative and other support staff. "They showed me love and compassion throughout the whole process," said Brent Baker. "Now I have a home to call my own because of this wonderful program."

"Brent is just one of hundreds who have received help through the HUD-VASH program in Kentucky," said HUD Kentucky Field Office Director Christopher Taylor. "We are so proud to be a part of housing homeless men and women who have served our country through the military. We are also proud of the Kentucky housing agencies like Kentucky Housing Corporation who have stepped up to provide more than 100 VETT (Veterans Emerging Through Transition) housing vouchers that will help even more homeless vets. We ultimately want homeless veterans to be a thing of the past."

"The HUD Southeast Region, and Kentucky in particular, should be congratulated as they lead the nation in the number of local elected officials that have signed on to end veteran homelessness," said HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr. "Homeless veterans and their families have sacrificed so much for our freedoms and deserve a place to call home."

The ceremony was held on the same day as the Kentucky 2015 annual homeless Point-In-Time count. Across the United States local homelessness planning agencies called Continuum of Care organizations are preparing volunteers at this time of year to help count the number of persons located in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, and living unsheltered on the streets. Continuum of Care organizations will report these one-night counts later in the year and it will form the basis of HUD's 2015 national homeless estimate.

HUD recently announced its 2014 estimate of the number of homeless veterans in Kentucky. Since 2008 when HUD and the VA introduced HUD-VASH vouchers, there has been a 41 percent decrease in the number of homeless sheltered veterans and a 59 percent decrease in the number of unsheltered veterans in the state. The number from 2008 of 1,046 homeless veterans has steadily decreased to 600 homeless veterans in 2014 in Kentucky.


Content Archived: February 2, 2017