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State plan to prevent veteran’s homelessness

Banner Staff

Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray announced the release of Massachusetts Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness’ “Integrated Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness Among Veterans.”

The objectives of the plan are to reduce the number of homeless veterans in the Commonwealth by 1,000 (based on the annual Point In Time count) by the end of 2015 and to statistically end veteran homelessness in Massachusetts. The annual Point In Time count measures the number of homeless persons in the U.S. on a single night in January 2012, including the number of homeless veterans.

According to the 2011 Point In Time count, there were 1,268 homeless veterans on a given night across Massachusetts, which represents 7.6 percent of the total homeless population in the state. This Point In Time count has been trending downward in recent years, with the 2011 count 20.6 percent lower than that of the previous year. It is also estimated that 450 of those individuals meet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition of chronically homeless.

In December 2011, Murray charged the ICHH and the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS) with drafting the first statewide plan to prevent and end homelessness among veterans.