A Year Later, Governor Wolf Announces Progress on Ending Veteran Homelessness in Pennsylvania

September 23, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – Last year, Governor Tom Wolf challenged all commonwealth agencies and communities to reduce veterans’ homelessness. Today, the Governor, along with Brig. Gen. Tony Carrelli, adjutant general of the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, announced that more than 2,200 homeless veterans have been placed in permanent housing in the past year.

“This achievement demonstrates that the commonwealth – along with local officials, community housing and homeless service providers, federal agencies, veterans service organizations, and corporate and philanthropic organizations – are committed to serving its veterans,” said Governor Wolf. “In fact, over the past year the city of Lancaster/Lancaster CountyPhiladelphia and Reading/Berks County have each announced that they have the infrastructure in place to successfully meet the needs of homeless veterans in their areas and today’s numbers prove that other communities are following in their footsteps.”

Pennsylvania’s numbers, which are tracked and confirmed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN 4) Homeless Coordinator, show that as of July 31, 2016, 2,260 homeless veterans in Pennsylvania were placed in permanent housing since Sept. 22, 2015. Numbers for August 2016 are still being tabulated and the September 2016 numbers will not be out until October.

“The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is honored to serve Pennsylvania’s 916,000 veterans and it has been particularly rewarding to manage the efforts of all of the stakeholders who are advocates for Pennsylvania’s homeless veterans,” said Brig. Gen. Carrelli. “If we want to end veteran homelessness in Pennsylvania, we must continue to ensure that the programs and systems are in place so that future homeless episodes will be rare, brief and non-recurring.”

The challenge, officially known as the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that was launched in June 2014. It was conceived as a means for local leaders to create and coordinate strategies to curb veteran homelessness. In early 2015, HUD conducted a point-in-time count which identified approximately 1,400 homeless veterans in Pennsylvania. Across the United States, mayors, governors and county executives are currently participating in the challenge. For more information about the challenge, visit the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.

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