Veteran homelessness is one of the country's hardest problems to address, but Phoenix might have found the answer.
The specific number is hard to nail down, but according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are upwards of 60,000 homeless veterans on any given night in the U.S., or about 12 percent of the adult homeless population. Until last year, Phoenix had about 220 veterans without a stable living situation, Mayor Greg Stanton told USA Today.
Thanks to new funds from the Federal stimulus that allowed for more affordable housing and a new policy toward mental health and substance abuse, the city has housed nearly all veterans once without a home.
"In a housing first model," Stanton explained, "we understand that if someone has been on the streets for a long time, and been abusing drugs or alcohol for a long time, it may take awhile for them to be able to break that issue in their lives."
Other low-cost housing models immediately revoked support if drugs or alcohol were found to still be part of a veteran's life after service, but Phoenix has opted to aid veterans to a more healthy phase of their lives.
The program has been a wild success, with retention rates well above the 90 percent mark.