Fairfax County Joins Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness
Jan. 13, 2015
Fairfax County has pledged to end veteran homelessness by the end of the year.
On Dec. 19, Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova agreed to have the county become part of the national Mayors Challenge, an effort announced by first lady Michelle Obama and amplified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness and the National League of Cities. The Mayors Challenge calls for mayors (and other jurisdiction leaders) to make a commitment to ending veteran homelessness in their communities in 2015.
“I am honored to partner with the Obama administration, nonprofit organizations, neighboring jurisdictions and the private sector to end veteran homelessness in the United States by the end of 2015. Honoring and taking care of our veterans is one of the most important things we can do as a nation, and Fairfax County will certainly do our part in making this goal a reality,” Bulova said.
The Mayors Challenge is a piece of the larger federal Opening Doors initiative to end homelessness. As outlined by the program, ending veteran homelessness means reaching the point where there are no veterans sleeping on the streets and every veteran has access to permanent housing. Further, the initiative will work to provide systems so that should veterans become homeless or be at-risk of becoming homeless, communities will have the capacity to quickly connect them to the help they need to achieve housing stability.
"We are excited to be able to move forward with renewed energy by participating with cities all over the country in the Mayors Challenge to end homelessness for veterans here in Fairfax-Falls Church by the end of 2015," adds Dean Klein, director of the Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness.
During the 2014 Point-in-Time Count of homeless persons in Fairfax County, 8 percent of all single adults who were homeless (45 individuals) identified themselves as veterans. Additionally, the 2014 count found six veterans living in families with children. Nationally, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness has decreased by about 33 percent since the beginning of the national Opening Doors initiative to end homelessness launched in 2010.
Learn more about efforts to prevent and end homelessness in Fairfax County.