With veteran homelessness now recognized nationwide as an issue that can be solved more easily than many experts previously thought, a lot of state and local governments are starting to do more to deal with it straightaway. That includes Minnesota, where a new initiative has been launched to handle this problem quickly and easily.
The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced that it will organize a Veteran Rapid Response Team to deal with any former servicemembers living on the streets who are identified in a one-day, state-wide count, according to a report from the MDVA. The hope is that this outreach effort can effectively end veteran homelessness within the Land of 10,000 Lakes in much the same way several cities and at least a few states have as well.
Once identified, these homeless vets will be paired with social workers to get them registered and work up a personalized plan for housing them, the report said. Usually, this sort of effort will get any veteran with their own unique plan into a permanent housing situation within four months or so. In addition to trying to track veteran homelessness through the one-day, state-wide count, the MDVA is also asking anyone who knows a homeless veteran to call its hotline at 1-888-Link-Vet.
"Having a housing plan is key," said Eric Grumdahl, who serves as special advisor on ending veteran homelessness for MDVA and the Minnesota Office to Prevent and End Homelessness. "Homelessness is a problem that we can solve. The best, most lasting solutions are personalized for each individual or family experiencing homelessness."
Veterans who are dealing with unstable housing situations may want to do some research into the ways in which programs such as these may be able to help them, because even the threat of homelessness can have a major negative impact on their lives.