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Military & Veterans' Issues

City Of San Antonio Vows To End Veteran Homelessness With USAA Help

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Joey Palacios
/
Texas Public Radio
Mayor Ivy Taylor applauds along with several councilmembers over the support offered by USAA

The city of San Antonio says it’s on track to end veteran homelessness by March 31. The biggest push for the year-long effort came from USAA today.

In January 2015, Mayor Ivy Taylor joined the national mayor’s challenge to end veterans homelessness. She says San Antonio is to reach a ‘functional zero’ within the next two and a half months.

“Functional zero means that no veteran will sleep on the streets, that every vet will have access to permanent housing and that any veteran who is at risk of becoming homeless is able to stabilize and maintain their housing,” the mayor said.

More than 800 veterans have been assisted over the past year. There are approximately 300 veterans still living on San Antonio streets.

USAA CEO Stuart Parker says they are donating $2.1 million to help reach that goal. “We did an assessment to reduce that to zero by the end of March. That’s where we came up with the $2.1 million,” Parker said.

How will that be done? Travis Pearson CEO of Family Endeavors, a nonprofit that helps vets out of homelessness, says it will come in the form of housing assistance and various services.“We’ll have legal help, mental health counseling, employment training, it’s a long-term solution not just a short-term intervention,” he added.

There are 10 cities nationwide that have ended veteran’s homelessness, including Houston, Las Vegas, and Philadelphia.