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Veteran homelessness down more than 26-percent in Amarillo

Across the nation, throughout the state of Texas and right here in Amarillo, the number of homeless veterans is down.

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) – Across the nation, throughout the state of Texas and right here in Amarillo, the number of homeless veterans is down.

A new report by U.S. Housing and Urban Development shows veteran homelessness down in Amarillo by 26.2-percent from 2017, compared to a 12-percent decrease in Texas and just over 5-percent in the U.S.

Veteran homelessness down more than 26-percent in Amarillo

"Right now, between Amarillo and Lubbock, which we have vouchers in Lubbock, as well, with three public housing authorities, we have over 260 veterans housed, off the streets and receiving intensive case management,” said Teena Hall, coordinator for the housing program at the Amarillo VA.

The Amarillo VA has partnered with HUD to create the HUD VASH program, or, Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing, where they work with chronically homeless veterans to get a voucher for sustainable, permanent housing.

"I just visited a veteran today and he was very excited about his new place. He’s got pots and pans, he showed me the inside of his refrigerator,” said Hall. “He’s just very excited to be housed again and off the streets, and just to know that they’re safe and that we can help them with the things that they need.”

The VA’s housing program says the next goal is to graduate veterans completely, where they won’t need consistent case management check-ins and will be more independent.

"One big goal of our program is to be able to graduate veterans off our program,” said Hall. "We’re always here for them, even when they graduate, but that is very exciting when you get to see them come from the bottom all the way back up to being successful, it’s very rewarding."

"It’s really a privilege to be able to work with our veteran population in this capacity to help them get what they need, get off the streets, be safe, learn to live back into society if that’s the need,” said Hall. "It’s an honor to us to be able to serve those who served our country."

It’s an honor and service they hope will continue until all homeless veterans are off the streets with a roof over their heads.

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