Service Providers Strive to End Veteran Homelessness in Chattanooga

Nearly a dozen social service agencies supporting the Chattanooga, Tenn., region met last week to coordinate their efforts to end veteran homelessness by next year.

Chattanooga is among 75 cities striving to end homelessness among veterans as part of the Zero: 2016 initiative.

“We’re going to get veterans housed,” said Donna Maddox, director of Joe Johnson Mental Health Center, reported the Times Free Press.

Chattanooga has 80 homeless veterans according to the most recent annual point-in-time count. The city has housed 37 veterans in the past six months, said Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.

“No provider can do this alone. Everybody has to have a coordinated response to make a difference,” Berke said.

Last week’s two-day camp allowed participating organizations to report what steps they were undertaking to meet the city’s goal, and to establish deadlines for showing progress. The groups are carrying out a variety of activities to house veterans. Maddox’s group is developing a list of trained counselors and volunteers to serve as peers to veterans.

Another is developing a database listing homeless individuals and their needs. A third group, Mission Accomplished: Stable Housing, is trying to identify additional resources for veterans who need financial assistance.

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