Eighteen southwest Minnesota counties have found housing for every known homeless veteran, according to the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs.
The milestone is part of a statewide push to end veteran homelessness established in 2014 using a voluntary registry for homeless veterans.
The VA and its partners have housed 856 people since December of that year, and are looking to find homes for about 200 more.
The registry helps staff members personalize housing plans in order to make them more likely to last. Once registered, veterans are typically housed within four months.
The 18 counties make up the country’s 40th region to clear its housing waiting list for homeless veterans. It is also the first area in Minnesota to do so.
“These 18 counties in Southwestern Minnesota are committed to honoring the men and women who have served our state and our country by establishing a strategic plan that prevents Veterans homelessness from occurring whenever possible,” said Cathy ten Broeke, State Director to Prevent and End Homelessness.
“The plan also ensures that when homelessness does occur, it is rare, brief, and nonrecurring.”
The counties include Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift and Yellow Medicine.
Jackie Renzetti is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for Star Tribune.