The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) has certified the City of Norfolk met the goal in the National Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.
In September 2014, Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim became the first mayor in Virginia to sign the National Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. Within two weeks of the citywide canvass to identify homeless veterans and the mayor’s pledge, the first veteran identified as the most likely to perish without housing had moved into his new residence through the efforts of Norfolk partnership.
“Veteran homelessness is a social problem that can be solved,” said Fraim. “The region came together and focused its resources to create solutions. Our efforts will continue, to ensure those who protected our freedom have a path back home.”
In collaboration with The Planning Council, Norfolk worked with Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Franklin, Isle of Wight and Southampton County and formed the South Hampton Roads Veterans Leadership Initiative.
With the assistance of several local housing and homeless service providers, each city identified veterans experiencing homelessness, tracked their progress, accelerated supportive services and ensured no veteran fell through the cracks. So far, 297 homeless veterans have been housed or on their way to housing.
In September 2013, The City of Norfolk became the first city in Hampton Roads to ensure that all homeless veterans are housed in conjunction with community partners NRHA, STOP, ForKids, Inc., The Planning Council, Virginia Beach Community Development Corp. (VBCDC), the Veterans Administration and Virginia Supportive Housing. Currently, homeless veterans in Norfolk are able to find housing and other solutions to their homelessness, on average, less than 50 days from the time they are connected to the initiative. The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) has set the goal at 90 days for the National Challenge.