Minnesota Works To End Veteran Homelessness
Governor Tim Walz holds landlord summit at Uptown VFW
Governor Tim Walz told Minnesota landlords today that if they are “…willing to commit to housing homeless Veterans, the state will commit support to them”.
Watch this video to see Gov. Walz commitment to ending Veteran homelessness. WCCO Video.
Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Leimaile Ho said the state’s scarcity of affordable housing is a major barrier between homeless veterans and housing. She stressed the need for more housing, citing rising housing costs and stagnant wages.
“The No. 1 thing we need to do is get the production of housing up,” she said. “But we need to also make sure it’s affordable at the wages that people earn.”
Statewide, the registry shrank by 1,813 people since December 2014. West-central, southwest, northwest and northeast continuum of care regions reached zero veteran homelessness in 2017 and 2018.
Sustaining the success of recent years will mean continuing to tap the registry as cases arise to prevent homelessness, said Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Herke.
He noted five veterans in the region have either lived in temporary housing or elsewhere for fewer than 90 days. One of the federal criteria for declaring zero veteran homelessness is the ability to connect veterans to permanent housing within a 90-day window.
Herke said local agencies are tapping into community, state and federal assets to find permanent housing for the individuals. They’re also in touch with landlords to find good housing fits.
“What needs to be put in place is a preventative process, which really is the process of using the registry,” he said. “And driving home that once you’re identified, we’re not going to let you go until you’re in a safe location where you have permanent housing.”