Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto recently announced his committment to ending veteran homelessness in Pittsburgh by the end of 2015 in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
With his announcement, Pittsburgh joins a growing number of communities across the country that have pledged to end veteran homelessness.
“Veteran homelessness is not an intractable social problem that can’t be solved,” says Mayor Peduto. “By focusing our resources and renewing our communities’ commitment to this issue, we can end veteran homelessness in our city and our country. I’m proud to join Mayors across the country as we work toward the important goal of honoring the service of our veterans by making sure all of them have a home to call their own.”
Pittsburgh will work with HUD, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), and the National League of Cities to leverage federal resources and develop a local strategy to make sure every veteran in the community has access to stable housing and the supportive services they need to stay off the street.
“We know that in order to achieve the aggressive goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015, we need the support and commitment of local elected officials,” says Jane E. Miller, Director of HUD’s Pittsburgh Field Office. “I am so pleased Mayor Peduto has pledged his support and look forward to working with him to build momentum in reaching this goal.”
As of last count in January 2014 there were 97 homeless veterans in the Pittsburgh area, 78 living in emergency shelters and 19 living unsheltered.
Since 2010, when the Federal government launched Opening Doors, a strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, there has been a 24 percent reduction in homelessness among veterans. This reduction was achieved through a partnership between the Obama Administration, local governments, non-profits and the private sector. Mayor Peduto plans to use the momentum created by the Opening Doors plan to further reduce and eradicate veteran homelessness.
To learn more about resources for local veterans experiencing homelessness, visit https://www.onecpd.info/homelessness-assistance/resources-for-homeless-veterans/