81st Annual Meeting: June 21-24, 2013 in Las Vegas

ENDING HOMELESSNESS AMONG VETERANS

WHEREAS, men and women who served in the United States armed services have made extraordinary sacrifices to serve this nation and should not experience homelessness; and

WHEREAS, ending homelessness for Veterans and their families is critical to Mayors and cities as it will reduce the inefficient usage of costly health care services and emergency shelters, as well as enhance the ability of Veterans to positively contribute to their communities and increase economic productivity; and

WHEREAS, preventing and ending homelessness among Veterans by 2015 is a national priority that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its federal partners, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), have taken decisive action to achieve; and

WHEREAS, the number of Veterans experiencing homelessness on a single night decreased by 18 percent between 2010 and 2012 due to unprecedented collaboration and investment in effective strategies; and

WHEREAS, despite this progress, there were an estimated 62,619 homeless Veterans on a single night in January 2012 in the United States; and

WHEREAS, some communities have demonstrated even greater reductions in Veterans homelessness and will end homelessness among Veterans through decisive and collaborative leadershipthat adopts evidence-informed practices such as Housing First, strategically usesdata, effectively targets resources that match services with individual needs,drives community collaborations, and taps other public resources such as Medicaid, Social Security, and public schools; and

WHEREAS, Mayors who are in the front lines dealing with homelessness in their communities can be significant and critical partners in the goal of ending Veterans homelessness by 2015,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors re-commits to the goal of ending homelessness among the nationís Veterans by 2015, as described in Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors affirms the value of recent federal investments in effective programs, such as the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program and the Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) Program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Mayors should contact their Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) directors to establish a partnership between their city and the VAMC that integrates and aligns the VAMCís Five Year Plan to End Homelessness Among Veterans with the communityís plans to end homelessness; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Mayors should work in partnership with their local VAMCs and homeless crisis response system to do the following:

           Identify homeless and at-risk Veteran families and link them to needed services; and

           Adopt a Veteran-centric approach that provides the right intervention at the right time to make resources go further and improve outcomes; and

           Implement evidenced-informed strategies that return Veterans and their families to housing quickly such as Housing First, permanent supportive housing, and rapid re-housing; and

           Set goals and measure progress; and

           Share and use data strategically; and

           Drive community collaborations; and

           Tap mainstream services such as Medicaid and Social Security; and

           Identify housing in the community and outreach to landlords; and

           Encourage local philanthropy and businesses to participate in these efforts; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors encourages policies and practices in both the private and public sectors that support employment of Veterans and encourages greater access to affordable housing; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors urges comprehensive solutions and increased investments in evidenced-informed strategies by all levels of government, philanthropy, businesses, faith-based and community organizations to prevent and end homelessness among Veterans.

Projected Cost:Unknown


RESOLUTION ADOPTED JUNE 2013