Getting to Zero! Roanoke Valley Reaches Goal to End Veteran Homelessness

It all started with a challenge. Mayors David Bower of Roanoke and Randy Foley of Salem took on the first lady Michelle Obama’s Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.

Since October 2014, the Council of Community Services and its partners in the initiative – City of Roanoke, Trust House, Salem Virginia Medical Center, Total Action for Progress and Virginia Veteran and Family Support (formerly Virginia Wounded Warriors Program) – housed 123 homeless veterans and assessed a total of 219.

By finding homes for those 123 veterans, veteran homelessness in the community has reached a functional zero. This means veteran homelessness in the Roanoke Valley has been reduced to the point that there are sufficient resources and a response structure in place to house all veterans entering homelessness within 30 days.

How was this goal achieved?

  • Coordinated outreach efforts to identify all homeless veterans in our community
  • Use of common assessment tools to strategically allocate housing resources
  • Bi-weekly collaborative case conferencing meetings
  • Outreach to landlords and real estate investment groups

In honor of Veterans Day, Roanoke Valley leaders gathered on November 10, 2015 at Lee Plaza to announce the success of the initiative.

Check out the articles and coverage of the announcement:

Roanoke Valley leaders say they’ve housed 123 homeless vets in past year – Roanoke Times

Roanoke Valley finds success in effort to end homelessness among veterans – WDBJ7

Roanoke’s efforts growing to help homelessness veterans – WDBJ7

Roanoke Valley reaches goal to reduce veteran homelessness – WSLS10

This is great news for the Roanoke Valley and also highlights the important work being done by the Council’s staff and the impact their work has on the community.

Job well done!