May 27, 2019

By Dan Glaun

The city of Boston has housed more than 1,000 homeless veterans since the implementation of a new anti-homelessness plan five years ago, Mayor Marty Walsh said in a Memorial Day statement.

“Our goal is to ensure that everyone in Boston has a place to call home,” said Mayor Walsh. “We are proud of the work our teams have done in ending homelessness among chronically homeless veterans, but there is still work to be done. This milestone shows our continued dedication to housing all veterans in the city who are in need.”

Boston has one of the lowest rates of unsheltered homeless among major U.S. cities, according to Walsh’s statement. In 2016, Walsh announced that the city had effectively ended chronic homelessness among veterans.

As of a Jan. 24, 2018 count there were 985 homeless veterans in Massachusetts, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Of those, 51 were unsheltered while the remainder were in emergency shelters or transitional housing.

There were just over 20,000 total homeless people in Massachusetts as of that date, including 985 who were unsheltered. Two-hundred and sixty-one households with children were chronically homeless, all of whom were in emergency shelters, according to HUD.

Boston’s approach to homelessness is focused on giving people access to permanent housing without conditions like sobriety or entering treatment, according to the city. The city offers immediate shelter and a path to permanent housing for veterans sleeping on the street, the statement said.

“Housing over 1,000 veterans is a huge accomplishment,” said Boston’s Commissioner of Veterans Services, Robert Santiago. “This milestone shows that the mayor’s commitment to end homelessness among veterans continues to be a top priority. We strive to ensure all veterans experiencing homelessness in Boston have a path to permanent housing. Our office works to ensure veterans in the city of Boston are always supported — whether that’s mental health services, job opportunities, or vital housing supports.”

The majority of homeless veterans are men, many of whom served in the Vietnam War era. Veterans from the first and second wars in Iraq are also part of Boston’s homeless population.

To read the entire article, visit https://www.masslive.com/news/2019/05/boston-has-found-housing-for-more-than-1000-homeless-veterans-in-last-five-years-mayor-marty-walsh-says.html.