SAN ANGELO, Texas (KLST / KSAN) – The Concho Valley is working to end veteran homelessness, but certain criteria, established by the U.S. Interagency Council of Homelessness (USICH), must be met. These criteria include having enough emergency shelter to house those in need, providing case management and providing an opportunity for permanent housing. The first step is identifying veterans, who are normally undercounted. It’s one issue organizations face when addressing veteran homelessness.
“So they must identify, quantify, and document that number once we have that number, we know where we need to go,” Bob Salas with the Concho Valley Homeless Planning Coalition said.
Salas explains that there are two types of homelessness amongst veterans.
“One is homeless that are situationally homeless due to loss of a job those couple of things that we have,” Salas said. “Chronic homelessness, that’s due to long term homelessness issues like drug abuse, those kinds of mental health issues.”
With Veterans Day coming up, community organizations are helping serve local veterans with initiatives and programs to end veteran homelessness.
The Concho Valley Homeless Planning Coalition received around one million dollars from the American Rescue Plan for Homeless and Homeless Prevention, a sum that can increase the support to veterans.
“It’s really important to have a variety of resources because very rarely do we ever work with a veteran who has one single,” Paul Keeton, from West Texas Counseling and Guidance said. “So for coming into a veteran who’s homeless and needing help from assistance from us, we just provide mental health and then we lean on organizations in the community to provide homelessness assistance.”