By Elisha Harig-Blaine
Joining cities and organizations from across the country, NLC has become the latest official partner in the 100,000 Homes Campaign. Launched in July 2010, the campaign is a national movement of over 150 communities working together to find permanent homes for 100,000 chronic and medically vulnerable homeless Americans, including 10,000 chronically homeless veterans, by July 2014.
NLC joins campaign supporters such as The Home Depot Foundation, United Way, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and Operation Homefront. To date, participating communities have engaged more than 5,000 volunteers, identified and surveyed over 35,000 homeless people, and have housed more than 20,000 homeless Americans, including more than a thousand veterans, in permanent housing while transforming public systems along the way.
“The 100,000 Homes Campaign is thrilled to have the support of the National League of Cities,” said Becky Kanis, Campaign Director. “Leadership from and engagement with city officials is vital to any effort working to end the tragedy of homelessness, particularly for those men and women who have served our country.”
Since September 11, 2001, an estimated 2,403,343 men and women have served in our military, representing only 1% of the American population. Approximately 1,478,370 of these veterans who served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan have left the armed services. The remaining veterans will be returning to cities as the military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to unwind.
While so few Americans have served in our nation’s most recent wars, veterans as a whole make up 10.6% of our nation’s homeless. In 2011, there were 67,495 homeless veterans. Furthermore, veterans are more likely to have some form of a disability, with 26.2% of veterans have a disability compared to14.8% of all Americans.
As part of NLC’s on-going work around housing for disabled veterans, a webinar on Wednesday, October 17 will offer examples of how cities can help meet the housing needs of disabled veterans who are not homeless. Additionally, campaign staff and elected officials in partner cities will offer best practices and insights for ending homelessness.
Vice Mayor Jan Vargo from Huber Heights, OH, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, and CA State Assembly Majority Leader and former San Diego City Councilor Toni Atkins will be featured. Anyone interested in registering for the free webinar can visit myNLC.
For more information contact Elisha Harig-Blaine, NLC’s Senior Housing Associate for Veterans and Special Needs at firstname.lastname@example.org.