|HUD No. KY15-006
June 1, 2015
HUD RECOGNIZES CITY AND COUNTY PROGRESS TO END VETERAN HOMELESSNESS
HUD-VASH Vouchers and Housing Choice Vouchers will effectively end local veteran homelessness
LOUISVILLE - Today in Pikeville, HUD Kentucky Field Office Director Christopher Taylor announced local funding for the Pikeville Housing Authority HUD-Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program and recognized the Pike County Housing Authority for innovatively using its own housing choice vouchers for a very similar program that was created to serve homeless veterans.
Last month HUD announced 25 HUD-VASH vouchers totaling $114,123 for Pikeville, which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA. HUD-VASH works in reducing veteran homelessness because it provides funding for both the housing and supportive services that are essential for ending homelessness for tens of thousands of veterans nationwide.
Pikeville Mayor Jimmy Carter and Pike County Judge/Executive Bill Deskins spoke about the impact that the combination of vouchers would have on the area.
"Pikeville will be a city of hope for homeless veterans," said Mayor Jimmy Carter. "We can now end veteran homelessness and provide much needed services for our veterans."
Judge/Executive Bill Deskins echoed that sentiment. "That is how we do things in Pike County. We stick together and we stand up for what is right - and what could be more right than putting a roof over the head of a homeless veteran who stood up and has fought for our rights and freedoms."
Veteran Kevin Wright also spoke about the benefit of the Pike County Housing Authority homeless veteran voucher program and what it means to him. "I lost my job and I lost my home," said Wright. "But with the help of the Pike County Housing Authority, I now have a roof over my head and I don't have to sleep in my truck. It has made all the difference in my life."
"As HUD marks its 50th anniversary, these are the kinds of partnerships that the HUD Kentucky Field Office has been seeing throughout the Commonwealth," said Christopher Taylor. "That is why we are ending veteran homelessness in Kentucky. We have over 240 local officials signed on to The Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, which is more than half of the rest of the nation, which shows the commitment we have in Kentucky."
HUD-VASH and pledges from public housing authorities to give a preference to local homeless veterans are important parts of the Obama Administration's efforts to provide critical housing and services to veterans experiencing homelessness. This effort also includes HUD's Homeless Assistance Programs, as well as VA's Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) and Grant and Per Diem (GPD) programs.
Additionally, Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness (www.usich.gov/PDF/FactSheetVeterans.pdf) serves as a roadmap for how the federal government will work with state and local communities to confront the root causes of homelessness, especially among former servicemen and women. To support communities as they progress towards the goal of ending veteran homelessness, USICH has identified strategies that increase collaboration and coordination among programs serving veterans experiencing homelessness.
To access the HUD-VASH vouchers in Pikeville, veterans should contact Lee Ann Bills, VA Homeless Program Coordinator, at the Huntington, West Virginia VA Medical Center at (304) 529-9141. In Pike County, veterans can call Gaye Newsome, Executive Director of the Pike County Housing Authority, at (606) 432-4178, extension 304.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.
You can also connect with HUD on social media and follow Secretary Castro on Twitter and Facebook or sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List.