City Engagement

Homeless Veteran Leadership Network

NLC's Homeless Veteran Leadership Network is chaired by NLC President Chris Coleman, Mayor of St. Paul, Minn., NLC 1st Vice President Ralph Becker, Mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix, Ariz.

In 2013, Phoenix and Salt Lake City became the first cities in the nation to end chronic veteran homelessness.  Their success and the progress seen in cities such as St. Paul inspired the creation of the Leadership Network.

Network member cities engage with existing and emerging efforts to end veteran homelessness.  Officials have the opportunity to learn from communities leading the way to end veteran homelessness in 2015 and are connected with tools from NLC's federal, state, and local partners.

HLVN map of cities

For more information on how to join the HVLN, email

Housing Responses

The housing needs of veterans are not all the same. Some veterans require long-term supportive services. Some veterans have more moderate needs, while others can live independently. The variety of needs requires creative solutions blending public and private resources.

One way cities can assist veterans directly is by supporting the development of safe and accessible housing that meets their needs. To advance an understanding of specific steps cities can take, NLC has complied case studies to document best practices from cities across the country.

Community-wide Responses

A veteran's successful reintegration depends not on one thing, but rather on an interlocking series of supports. Veterans should be connected to resources to help align skills and experiences in the best manner possible to available jobs.  Spouses and children should be supported as they adjust to the return of an absent family member, who may be changed by his/her time away.  Likewise, veterans should be connected to an understanding network of people who know what it means to come home to a changed community as a different person.

The types of supports that returning veterans and their families need take time to establish. Cities can play the vital role of leading the coordination of existing resources that can help returning veterans and their families.

NLC has compiled case studies to promote awareness of collaborative and holistic efforts in cities as pragmatic examples for others. These efforts ensure veterans and their families are stably housed while the necessary supports are identified and aligned with unique needs.

City Models to Ensure All Veterans Have a Place to Call Home

To better understand the important lessons from these efforts, NLC has pulled together examples from six cities that can help others improve the lives of our veterans.  This report compiles all of the examples into one easy to print document.

Public Sector Leadership

Watch NLC’s Elisha Harig-Blaine discuss the important role of local public sector leadership in meeting the housing needs of veterans. He discusses successful initiatives in Eugene, Ore. and Glastonbury, Conn. This video was taken at the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing’s annual conference, Housing Opportunity 2013, March 20-22 in Seattle, Wash.