NEW ORLEANS, LA— Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined First Lady Michelle Obama and mayors from across the country in Washington D.C. to announce the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. The City of New Orleans joined the campaign which aims to eliminate veteran homelessness in America by 2015.
Click here for more information on the Mayors Challenge
During the visit to the White House, Mayor Landrieu participated in a panel discussion along with four other mayors, to share and discuss successful strategies which have reduced veteran homelessness.
"Today's announcement is a critical step in making a real difference in the lives of our most vulnerable citizens," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “By focusing our resources and renewing our commitment to this issue, we will leverage what we have already done in New Orleans to end veteran homelessness in our city and our country. I am proud to join mayors across the country as we work toward making sure every veteran has a home.”
The City of New Orleans has already achieved outstanding results on the local level: veterans’ homelessness is down 66% since 2012, and the City is well on its way to ending veterans’ homelessness by 2015. The results are significant, particularly in a community where homelessness skyrocketed after Hurricane Katrina. However, Mayor Mitch Landrieu made ending veterans’ homelessness a top priority, and in partnership with the Obama Administration, the state and non-profits, the City of New Orleans has found a way.
Mayor Landrieu added, "In 2011, the City announced a Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness and created the New Orleans Interagency Council on Homelessness to oversee its implementation. Together with 63 partner agencies and service providers that make up the Continuum of Care, we are connecting homeless individuals and families with the essential services they need to put them back on the path towards stable, permanent housing and prosperity.”
Click here to see the City’s Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness
Through the 100 Day Rapid Results Boot Camp, the New Orleans team aimed to make a real impact, real fast. The goal was to house 100 veterans in 100 days, which required streamlining old processes and collaborating like never before. With focus and coordination, the New Orleans team surpassed its ambitious goal - housing 120 Veterans in 100 days.
In 2013, the city reached another milestone, when the Community Resource and Referral Center opened in the local VA hospital. The Community Resource and Referral Center serves as a day shelter for the homeless, and connects homeless veterans to case managers and services. To create synergy, the center houses multiple service providers, and it is the first and only resource and referral center in the nation that provides services to veterans as well as non-veterans.
New Orleans will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), and the National League of Cities to leverage federal resources and implement a local strategy to make sure every veteran in the community has access to permanent and stable housing and the supportive services they need to stay off the street.
Since 2010, when the Federal government launched Opening Doors, a strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, there has been a 24 percent reduction in homelessness among veterans nationally. This reduction has been achieved through a partnership between the Obama Administration, local governments, non-profits, and the private sector. Through this final push to leverage momentum and strengthen our commitment, the goal of ending veteran homelessness in America is within reach.
Click here to learn more about resources available for local veterans experiencing homelessness