Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Jim Nicholson, and Homeless Services (DHS) Commissioner Robert V. Hess today announced an historic agreement between the City of New York and the VA to help end veteran homelessness in the City. Under the agreement, the City will place 100 veterans into permanent housing in 100 days. Veterans Affairs and the City will also convene a Task Force that will report back in 100 days with a strategic plan to end veteran homelessness in New York City. The Task Force, whose inaugural meeting was held following the announcement, will develop long-term plans for new joint VA-New York City street outreach teams, a new joint VA-New York City homeless intake center, and additional health care, mental health treatment and substance abuse treatment for eligible veterans. The announcement was made at the Borden Avenue Veterans Residence in Queens, the first veterans-only shelter established in the United States.
From New York City
“No veteran should be sleeping on the streets or in shelters in New York City,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Our City and our country owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans, and those who have had the misfortune to become homeless deserve our help to get back on their feet. I hope our new partnership with Veterans Affairs will become a national model.”
“This agreement represents another positive step forward in our fight to eradicate the scourge of veteran homelessness from our streets,” said Secretary Nicholson. “Our veterans have served us all by taking the oath to preserve liberty and protect our way of life, and we must and will continue to work together to repay our grateful nation’s debt to these valiant defenders. I appreciate Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership in combating veteran homelessness, and we at VA look forward to working with the City of New York on this initiative and others that serve America’s veterans.”
“No one who has served and fought for our country should have to live on the streets,” said Commissioner Hess. “With the VA’s help and support along with its valuable resources, we can make sure that doesn’t happen in New York City. That’s why we’re making 100 permanent housing slots immediately available for our veterans.”
“Housing 100 homeless veterans in 100 days is a great step toward the City’s goal of ending veteran homelessness,” said Office of Veteran Affairs’ Executive Director Clarice Joynes. “I commend Mayor Bloomberg, Secretary Nicholson, and Commissioner Hess for their bold commitment. We are all grateful for the sacrifices made by our veterans in service to our City and our country, and we are committed to assisting those who have fallen on hard times.”
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