Texas is working to be one step closer to housing all veterans. The federal government has recognized the city of Abilene as one of just a handful of US cities to effectively end veteran homelessness. What that means is the number of veterans experiencing homelessness in that community is less than the average number of veterans connected with permanent housing each month.
“Where am I going to eat tonight, where am I going to sleep?”
A question a lot of veterans must ask themselves every day is “Where am I going to eat tonight, where am I going to sleep?” Some go years of asking themselves those questions daily wondering and hoping that their situation would soon change.
Veterans often suffer from anxiety, depression, and PTSD, but cannot afford the treatment and assistance and in turns comes from the fact of not having a home or not knowing where their next meal will come from.
The City of Abilene and surrounding organizations in the region are being recognized for making efforts to assist veterans so they don’t have to ask themselves those troubling questions. Abilene officially became the ninth city in the nation to provide permanent housing for all its’ veterans. They did this by constructing a system of case workers, gathered housing and veteran groups, and implemented data-tracking of the population of homeless veterans in the region.
The Texas veterans commission is providing grants for houses as well as other living expenses like food, rent, utilities, counseling, and even job training. Implementing this help in other cities with a high rate of homelessness would essentially help get homeless veterans get off the street, get healthy, and thrive in the community.
Starting this month, the Texas Veterans Commission will dole out nearly $16 million in grants over the next 2 years to organizations in Texas working with people experiencing homelessness. Abilene’s next step is working to find permanent homes for people who are chronically homeless – meaning they experience homelessness for a year (or 12 months over a 3-year period). The 25 cities initiative includes Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle, Tucson, and Honolulu. In Texas – several cities have announced and end to veteran homelessness – including Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. As of last week – 3 states have announced an end to veteran homelessness including Connecticut, Delaware, and Virginia.