Dayton/Montgomery County Effectively End Veteran Homelessness

Montgomery County Commissioners Judy Dodge, Dan Foley and Debbie Lieberman, City of Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and the Dayton VA Medical Center are proud to announce that the City and County have successfully met the objectives of the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.

“In the summer of 2015, I proudly pledged my commitment to the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness,” said Mayor Whaley. “Together, the City of Dayton, Montgomery County, and our community partners have worked to ensure that every veteran has access to permanent housing. Targeted collaboration among our partners has streamlined a community process that ensures that any veteran in the Dayton community, who needs assistance, receives a rapid connection to housing resources."

“Montgomery County and the Dayton region remain committed to protecting the men and women who bravely protected our freedoms,” added Montgomery County Commission President Judy Dodge.  “We will continue to work with our partners to ensure our veterans have access to safe, stable housing.”

In 2014, the Dayton-Kettering-Montgomery County Continuum of Care (CoC) worked in partnership with the Dayton VA Medical Center to jointly develop a community plan to end Veteran homelessness that called for intentional collaboration between the CoC and the VA Medical Center (VAMC). This resulted in improved data sharing/collection, outreach, communication and resource coordination.

“Our partnerships are invaluable,” said Glenn Costie, CEO, Dayton VAMC. “We are able to get homeless Veterans under a roof in a safe, comforting environment within hours and on the road to a permanent housing solution.”

"We applaud the City of Dayton and Montgomery County’s dedication to collaborating with key partners to develop and execute critical strategies to end homelessness in this country,” said Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. “Once again, communities all across the nation are proving that homelessness is solvable, not just for Veterans, but for everyone.”

“We at HUD are so proud that the City of Dayton has met the First Lady’s call to action to end Veteran homelessness as we know it,” said HUD Midwest Regional Administrator Antonio R. Riley. “Dayton has met the federal Mayors Challenge criteria and benchmarks for ending Veteran Homelessness and is leading the way in Ohio as the first community in the state to reach that standard.”

The Homeless Solutions Policy Board, the CoC Governing Board, has played a critical leadership role in fostering accountability related to achieving the goal of ending Veteran homelessness as measured by the Federal Benchmarks and Criteria.

Along with the VA, there have been many other key partners in this effort, including Greater Dayton Premier Management, Holt Street Miracle Center, Homefull, Miami Valley Housing Opportunities, St. Vincent DePaul and Volunteers of America.

The community’s goal is to quickly engage all homeless Veterans.  Our community has a strong network of providers who work to swiftly move Veterans into permanent housing.  Following identification, homeless veterans meet with CoC or VA homeless service providers to develop a housing plan and a permanent housing offer is made.  The community has also adopted a standardized set of procedures and protocols for expeditious Veteran identification and referral.

Effectively ending Veteran homelessness does not mean that no Veteran in our community will ever experience a housing crisis again.  These efforts provide a systematic response that ensures homelessness is prevented whenever possible and is otherwise rare, brief, and non-recurring.  

The Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness is part of a larger White House Joining Forces Initiative supported by HUD, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and the National League of Cities. The call-to-action was announced by First Lady Michelle Obama in June 2014 and answered by more than 850 cities and communities across the United States.

In Dayton and Montgomery County, 54 homeless veterans have been permanently housed in the last 90 days.

If you, or someone you know, is a veteran who is homeless or in need of help, call 1-877-4AID VET (1-877-424-3838) to receive free, confidential support from a trained, VA staff member 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.