|HUD No. KY15-003
January 29, 2015
GOVERNOR PROCLAMATION SUPPORTING HOUSING HOMELESS VETERANS PRESENTED AT KENTUCKY CAPITOL
LOUISVILLE - Homeless veteran advocates joined to celebrate the Governor's proclamation supporting the housing of all homeless veterans throughout the Commonwealth by the end of 2015. The proclamation, which was signed by Governor Steve Beshear on December 15, 2014, was presented by Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen following a ceremony during which representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Veterans Affairs, the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, and Kentucky Housing Corporation spoke about ways that their agencies support this initiative.
Also attending the ceremony were some of the more than 170 local elected officials in Kentucky who have accepted the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, which is a Presidential Initiative to eliminate veteran homelessness by the close of 2015.
"I congratulate the leaders throughout Kentucky who work so hard to end veteran homelessness in the Commonwealth," said HUD Kentucky Field Office Director Christopher Taylor. "I look forward to continuing this important work with each and every partner to reach our goal."
"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.
HUD also just announced Continuum of Care funding this week for Kentucky in excess of $19 million that will allow local providers to continue offering permanent and transitional housing to homeless persons as well as services including job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care. HUD is continuing to challenge local communities to reexamine their response to homelessness and give greater weight to proven strategies, from promoting "Housing First" to providing "rapid re-housing" for homeless families with children and permanent supportive housing for those experiencing chronic homelessness.
Continuum of Care grants are awarded competitively to local projects to meet the needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in their community. The grants fund a wide variety of programs from street outreach and assessment to transitional and permanent housing for homeless persons and families. HUD funds are a critical part of the Obama Administration's strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness.
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.