Earlier in 2015, Mayor Steve Adler, of Austin Texas, set out to create a new standard for his city and its 200 homeless veterans.
Adler initially promised to have all veterans housed by Veterans Day this year. That deadline passed and he then said he would aim for 2016.
“Homelessness is like the worst. You know what I mean. Being homeless is worse than being in the penitentiary,” Marine Gary Robinson told KLFY 10 News. This time last year he was living in a car but now he has his own apartment and is graduating from a local community college to be a mechanic.
“If I would have been homeless continuing out through my graduation I don’t know if I would have made it,” said Robinson.
This case marks a victory for the mayor's program, however, there are those who caution against early optimism.
“If we declare victory now and people go, hey man I’m done. We’re done. Alright, let’s take a bow. And you have this ongoing, ever unraveling problem.” said Richard Troxell from House the Homeless.
“Bring that all together, wrap it around these people in such a way that the veterans will stay,” said Troxell.
Alder's main plan is to distribute city vouchers for $800 or less a month, but the trouble is that not many landlords are willing to accept them just yet.
Sly Majid, Alder's chief of staff, also outlined a secondary initiative for the city, “We also helped create the Housing Heroes Fund, which we initially slated to raise $150,000. We’ve raised over $350,000, which we’ve been able to use to provide support for veterans and create greater affordability so they can live and find permanent supportive housing here in Austin.”
100 veterans still needed homes in Austin, however, this number is down from the almost 250 veterans who were without a home at the beginning of the year.
Continue Reading: Stop Exploiting The Homeless For Viral Fame
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