Ending Veteran Homelessness a Noble Goal

Support Services Key to Keeping Vets Housed

Clinton GeddisA December 1, 2015 Times of Trenton editorial applauds Trenton and Mercer County officials to accept First Lady Michelle Obama’s Mayor Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness by the end of 2015.

The piece reminds us that

“Although the flags patriotic Americans waved last month on Veterans Day are back in storage, the needs of the men and women we honored that day are not as easily shelved.”

Point-in-time counts find 67,000 homeless veterans across the country and recent legislation to provide assistance to veterans faced strong Republican opposition in the Senate.

“Our commitment to veterans needs to be more than a one-day observance,” said Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson, pledging to reduce the number of homeless veterans in Mercer County – 79 as of the beginning of 2015 – to “functional zero.”

“Clinton Geddis puts a face on the plight of these individuals.

The former Marine served two tours in Vietnam from 1968 to 1971, returning home to a life of drinking and crack cocaine and eventually spending two years roaming the streets of Trenton.”

Trenton has made great progress and its Coordinated Entry and Assessment Services Center has played a major role over the past year in housing 64 homeless vets.

“Sadly, the challenges homeless vets confront don’t end even when they insert their new keys in the door. If we are to keep our promise, intense follow-up services are crucial to make sure those needs are addressed.”

Click here to read the full op-ed.