(FOX 9) - Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced that five suburban metro area counties have effectively ended homelessness among veterans.
Gov. Walz made the announcement Wednesday, joined with Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Herke and Minnesota veterans. The designation, given to the Suburban Metro Area Continuum of Care, includes Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Scott, and Washington counties. The determination is made by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The counties became the sixth of 10 jurisdictions in the state of Minnesota to do so. The West Central, Southwest, Northwest, and Northeast Continuums of Care previously declared an end to veteran homelessness in 2017 and 2018. The River Valleys (Southeast) Continuum of Care declared the milestone in 2019. The remaining four Continuums of Care around the state continue to work toward the same goal.
“Becoming the fourth state in the country to end veteran homelessness has been a priority of our Administration since day one. Today’s announcement, on a day we honor all veterans, is a major accomplishment toward that goal,” Governor Walz said in a release. “Minnesota veterans have served and sacrificed to protect the freedoms we all enjoy. Once they complete their service, we should ensure they have a safe place to call home.”
According to a release, more than 2,100 previously homeless veterans have been housed since the initiative began in 2014. Minnesota housed more than 500 veterans in 2019 alone, the highest number ever housed in one year.
Minnesota’s Homeless Veterans Registry creates individual housing plans based on each veteran’s unique challenges and situation. Once on the Registry, veterans experiencing homelessness are typically housed within four months. As of November 10, the Registry lists 308 veterans by name who are experiencing homelessness in Minnesota.
Anyone who knows of a veteran experiencing homelessness can connect them with services by calling 1-888-LinkVet (546-5838) or visiting minnesotaveteran.org.