Gov. Tim Walz told a group of veterans Wednesday that his administration is committed to ending veteran homelessness in Minnesota by the end of 2019.
“Not a single one of our sisters or brothers will sleep on the street in Minnesota,” the DFL governor promised as he welcomed hundreds of military veterans converging on the State Capitol to press for housing, disability services and upkeep of cemeteries.
Walz, who served 24 years in the National Guard, looked at ease among fellow veterans, whom he thanked for their service.
“The right to self-govern was paid for by the blood of patriots,” he told the gathering in the Capitol rotunda.
While in Congress, Walz was the senior Democrat on the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs.
He told the group that Minnesota is committed to becoming the fourth state in the nation to eradicate homelessness among veterans. Three states — Connecticut, Delaware and Virginia — claim they ended veteran homelessness, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Walz offered few details. Minnesota created a homeless veteran registry in 2014 that listed every known homeless veteran by name. The state has reduced the number of homeless by 1,710 since then by connecting veterans with services and housing, according to the Walz administration. That still leaves another 226 homeless veterans on the registry.
Walz vowed that his administration would have them in housing by the end of the year.