Mayor announces end to veteran homelessness in Houston

HOUSTON – Mayor Annise Parker announced Monday Houston became the largest city in the nation to help end veteran homelessness.

Thirty-five local agencies collaborated to create a housing system that reached out to more than 3,650 veterans over the span of three years in Harris and Fort Bend counties.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert F. McDonald, U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, and U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Executive Director Matthew Doherty, made a rare joint appearance for the announcement at Union Station in downtown Houston celebrating the historic achievement.

"Too often those that answered the call of service still find themselves struggling long after leaving the military.  Houston is there for our heroes, and just like on the battlefield, we will leave no one behind," said Mayor Parker. "From regular provider coordination meetings and aligning local and federal resources, to dedicated street outreach teams and a coordinated assessment system that identifies, assesses, refers and navigates homeless veterans to housing, the Houston region has come together as a team to transform our homeless response system to effectively end veteran homelessness."

The mayor said the city set a goal over two years ago to house 100 homeless. Since 2012, it surpassed its goal by moving thousands of veterans into permanent housing.

According to Parker, it would not be possible without the collaborative effort among the dozens of agencies throughout the city.