DVIDS – News – Central Virginia Homeless Veterans Program Officials Support Local Organizations and Help Crater Region Reach ‘Functional Zero’

Homeless Veterans Coordinators from the Central Virginia VA Health Care System (CVHCS) Homeless Veterans Program, in partnership with community organizations dedicated to ending homelessness, have made great strides over the past few years. . Today, CVHCS community partners, including Crater Area Coalition on Homelessness (CACH), St. Joseph’s Villa and Built For Zero, announced a milestone in the fight against veteran homelessness at a conference release at the historic courthouse in Petersburg: Functional Zero.

To be certified as a Zero Functioning Community, organizations and local governments in the Crater region have created and maintained a support system that ensures fewer veterans are homeless than can be housed in one. month. Functional Zero certification means homeless veterans are rare and brief when they occur, according to Brooke Pendleton, homeless veterans coordinator with CVHCS.

“Significant progress has been made to prevent and end homelessness. The number of homeless veterans in the United States has nearly halved since 2010,” Pendleton said during his remarks. “Since 2010, more than 850,000 veterans and their family members have been permanently housed or prevented from becoming homeless.

The crater region covers nine counties and independent cities in southeastern Virginia. The region is the 11th nationwide to be certified as Functional Zero, largely due to the collaborative efforts of Central Virginia VA and community partners. The work of the VA and community organizations will continue, according to Pendleton.

“Ending homelessness is possible. To achieve this goal, we need continued leadership, collaboration, engagement and sense of urgency from communities across the country,” Pendleton said. “Every time a previously homeless Veteran in our community goes to sleep at night, they find themselves in a safe and comfortable space thanks to the hard work of the people here today.

Homelessness is a community issue, which no organization can address or solve alone. Homeless veterans coordinators at Veterans Affairs medical facilities across the country partner with organizations at the federal, state, and local levels. Partnerships, like those with CACH, St. Joseph’s Villa and Built For Zero, represent a commitment to finding innovative solutions to the complex issue of homelessness in the community, according to Kimberly Tucker, senior director, Flagler Housing and Homeless Services at St. Villa of Joseph.

“Today is a celebration. We celebrate that the Crater region of Virginia has functionally ended veteran homelessness,” Tucker said. “We are now among 11 communities across the country to achieve this step. Ending homelessness and reaching Functional Zero does not mean that no one will become homeless again in our community. It means that we know who is homeless in our community and meet regularly to identify their needs and match them with the best housing intervention within 30 days. It means that we have come together and worked hard as a community team. It means that we have developed the capacity to do so.

While reaching Functional Zero is a significant milestone, it is a unique point in an ongoing and evolving social issue that requires ongoing partnership. The first step, according to Tucker, is to place homeless adults, youth, families and veterans in sustainable housing.

“We all know it’s nearly impossible to do anything without a roof over your head – try to get a job, get an interview, or send your kids to school while living in your car or outside,” Tucker said. “We are proud to have reached functional zero for our veterans, but we are not done. Homelessness is a problem that can be solved. It is possible, and this community has proven it.

The media and stakeholder point of contact for this release is Tim Parish, public affairs manager, Central Virginia VA Health Care System; timothy.parish@va.gov; 804-675-5242.

Date taken: 20.05.2021
Date posted: 20.05.2021 14:38
Story ID: 396959
Site: PETERSBURG, Virginia, USA

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