At Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph, we are dedicated to closing this deficit and getting our veterans off the streets and into homes. Now, after years in the making, we’re able to reach our goal.
On March 11, the city of St. Joseph, Missouri was recognized as having effectively ended veteran homelessness. The announcement made St. Joseph just one of 69 communities across the country to do so, and second in the state of Missouri, next to Kansas City.
To reach such an achievement, collaborative monthly meetings began in 2012. The city of St. Joseph, Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph, the Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri, the Veterans Affairs Eastern Health Care system, and many other community partners and agencies worked tirelessly to create the infrastructure known as a “Coordinated Entry System.”
When a community has ended veteran homelessness, or established a Coordinated Entry System, it means they have successfully set in the place the resources necessary to move a homeless veteran that comes into the area off the streets and into housing. The goal is to maintain ‘functional zero,’ meaning that the number of homeless veterans is less than what the city is able to rapidly house.
In the past two years alone, we’ve seen Missouri veteran homelessness decrease by 5.8 percent, thanks to the hours and resources being pooled together in various communities. This is why it is so vital to keep programs like the Supportive Services for Veteran Families, AmeriCorps, and the Veterans Emergency Assistance Funds going, so that we can continue to address this ongoing need for veteran housing.
We are proud of all the hard work our team has put in to achieving this great goal. While both our Kansas City and St. Joseph communities have successfully implemented a Coordinated Entry System, we know the need is still great among veterans, and will continue to provide the coaching, case management and care needed among our veterans.
To learn more about our Veterans’ Services, please contact Mark Churchill at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (816) 659-8225.
Link to communities who have ended veteran homelessness-(this is the most recent, however, it is not updated. It still says 67 communities and does not include St. Joseph).