Mayors Fullop and Zimmer Join Mayors Challenge

Encourage Your Local Leaders to
Join the Fight to End Veteran Homelessness

Mayor Steve FulopOn June 4, 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the national Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness at the White House.

When a veteran comes home kissing the ground, it is unacceptable that he should have to sleep on it,” was part of her rallying call that everyone – Mayors, Governors, businesses, community leaders and all citizens should participate in ending homelessness, especially for those who have given so much.

Mayor Dawn ZimmerTo date, only New Jersey Mayors Steve Fulop of Jersey City and Dawn Zimmer of Hoboken have accepted the challenge and signed on! Can you help NJ meet the challenge? To accept the challenge a Mayor or County Executive or Freeholder needs to send an email to HUD committing to work to end veterans homelessness by 2015.

The administration has set the goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015. And the federal government has provided resources and enforced programs to strengthen our country’s homeless assistance programs.

Resources and reforms that can be implemented in local communities include:

  • Using a Housing First approach, which removes barriers to help veterans obtain permanent housing as quickly as possible, without unnecessary prerequisites;
  • Prioritizing the most vulnerable veterans, especially those experiencing chronic homelessness, for permanent supportive housing opportunities, including those created through the HUD-VASH program;
  • Coordinating outreach efforts to identify and engage every veteran experiencing homelessness and focus outreach efforts on achieving housing outcomes;
  • Targeting rapid rehousing interventions, including those made possible through the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, toward veterans and their families who need shorter-term rental subsidies and services in order to be reintegrated back into our communities;
  • Leveraging housing and services resources that can help veterans who are ineligible for some of the VA’s programs get into stable housing;
  • Increasing early detection and access to preventive services so at risk veterans and their families remain stably housed; and
  • Closely monitoring progress toward the goal, including the success of programs achieving permanent housing outcomes.

Click here for an overview of the Mayor’s Challenge initiative.

Click here for more information specifically for Mayors and Staff.