Federal Government Announces End to Vet Homelessness in NYC

The federal government has announced an end to chronic veteran homelessness in New York City, following a two-year effort by Mayor Bill de Blasio with the support of Samaritan Village and multiple other city agencies. In a letter dated December 29, 2015, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, along with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, notified the mayor that chronic homelessness among veterans has ended in NYC.

Over the course of the year, the City of New York implemented a number of innovative strategies aimed at connecting veterans to quality housing resources, and partnering with communities across the City to run public outreach campaigns to urge landlords to house homeless veterans.

To realize this achievement, the Mayor brought together City agencies, the federal government, as well as several non-profit organizations serving veterans. Among the participating agencies were Samaritan Village, which, in addition to its substance abuse treatment portfolio, offers specialized services to veterans through its Supportive Services for Veteran Families and HEROES Programs and a recently opened permanent residence for veterans.

Samaritan Village’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program assists veteran families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the SSVF program provides temporary financial assistance, housing counseling, legal service referrals, daily living services, personal financial planning and transportation services.

Samaritan Village’s HEROES Program helps chronically homeless female military veterans find permanent homes and receive substance abuse treatment. With its grant partner “Housing + Solutions,” Samaritan Village is on course to help at least 85 women veterans obtain permanent affordable housing. Finally, Samaritan Village recently opened a 23-unit permanent residence in the Bronx that will exclusively house veterans referred by the City.

“Samaritan Village congratulates Mayor de Blasio and the City on this significant achievement. We are proud to partner with the City to help end Chronic Veteran Homelessness by providing homelessness prevention, specialized treatment and permanent housing placement to aid our nation’s deserving veterans and their families,” said Tino Hernandez, President and CEO, Samaritan Village.

“The brave women and men who valiantly protected our nation abroad should never be left without a home. Today, we have ensured that those in the veteran community who have struggled to find and remain in housing time and time again will have a stable place to call home. I’m grateful to the city agencies, federal partners and the City Council, who all worked tirelessly together to make this pledge a reality,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Our veterans, those who have bravely served our nation in uniform, deserve nothing less than a safe, stable home. New York City has today reached a critical milestone by effectively ending chronic veteran homelessness. I congratulate Mayor de Blasio and his team and enthusiastically anticipate New York City declaring an end to all veteran homelessness in the coming year. This achievement should inspire the city and its partners who are working diligently to house all those experiencing homelessness,” said U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro.

During 2016, the City and its partners will continue its work with its many partner organizations to move additional veterans into permanent housing.