In the coming years, our nation’s cities and towns will welcome home more than 1 million veterans. They will join more than 20 million veterans in the United States who have served our country since World War II. Each of these veterans brings tremendous talents and gifts. They all deserve our welcome, our acknowledgment of their commitment to this country and our sensitivity to the needs that they and their families face as they return to civilian life.
A vital first step to help with reintegration is making sure veterans and their families have stable housing. With secure, safe housing, veterans can focus on other areas of life such as healthcare, employment, and education. This focus aligns with the federal plan to end veteran homelessness by 2015, and local momentum around this goal, beginning with Phoenix and Salt Lake City. In partnership with The Home Depot Foundation, NLC is focusing on a veteran housing initiative for transitioning veterans and the chronically homeless.
To support these efforts, NLC founded the Homeless Veteran Leadership Network (HVLN). Co-chaired by St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, the HVLN is a team of local leaders who have made a public commitment to end veteran homelessness by 2015. The HVLN supports cities by connecting communities to best practices and resources as well as helping to identify and overcome local challenges.