Federal Government Announces First County to End Veteran Homelessness in NJ
On August 3, 2016, Bergen County held a press conference commemorating that they have ended veteran homelessness.
Bergen County is the first county in New Jersey to do this and one of only twenty-eight communities across the country that have accomplished this exciting goal. Across the country, over 800 communities have pledged to end veterans homelessness.
In a confirmation letter, Matthew Doherty, Executive Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness wrote to Julia Orlando, Director, Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center.
“Thank you for your commitment to ending Veteran homelessness. Your leadership—and that of your colleagues throughout Bergen County—has been instrumental as we work together to ensure that every Veteran in our country has a home.
The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Department of Veterans Affairs are pleased to confirm that Bergen County has effectively ended homelessness among Veterans. We are confident that the infrastructure and systems you have built will ensure that any Veteran experiencing homelessness in Bergen County will get the support they need to quickly obtain a permanent home.”
The Record reported that Holly Leich, regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) spoke at the press event citing that last year, 27 homeless veterans, including 3 living on the street, were counted in Bergen County. And this year, all ten veterans counted were living in transitional housing.
“Bergen County Executive James Tedesco applauded the work of his veterans affairs division, the county homeless shelter and local nonprofit groups who partnered to provide services for homeless veterans in the county.”
In late 2009, the White House and the United States Veterans Administration and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced an ambitious goal to end Veteran homelessness. The plan to address this urgent national priority was outlined in 2010’s Opening Doors, the first-ever federal strategic plan to end Veteran homelessness.
These moves galvanized federal, state and local actions to prevent Veterans from becoming homeless and help those who are homeless become stably housed as quickly as possible.
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