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HomeGeneralHealey-Driscoll Administration Launches Campaign to End Veteran Homelessness in Massachusetts 

Healey-Driscoll Administration Launches Campaign to End Veteran Homelessness in Massachusetts 

BOSTON (PRESS RELEASE)  The Healey-Driscoll Administration today announced a $20 million campaign to end veteran homelessness in Massachusetts. This groundbreaking veteran’s housing initiative will include the largest, targeted investment to address veteran homelessness in state history.

The End Veteran Homelessness campaign – announced today at the New England Center and Home for Veterans in Boston – is a cross-collaborative initiative within the Healey-Driscoll Administration and federal, local, and veteran-serving organizations that prioritizes supportive housing, access to behavioral health services, capital investments to support veteran housing, and provides technical assistance to community providers. By leveraging evidence-based strategies and fostering collaboration across federal and non-profit sectors, Massachusetts aims to set a national model for ending veteran homelessness.

The goal behind the campaign is to make Massachusetts a state where veteran homelessness rates reach a level of “functional zero,” a federal term meaning a system where homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring. It involves ensuring that there are enough resources and support services available to quickly identify and assist individuals or families experiencing homelessness, ultimately leading to their swift placement into stable housing. A number of Massachusetts cities and counties have achieved “functional zero” including New Bedford, Lowell and Lynn.

“Our administration is committed to making Massachusetts a national leader in veterans services,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Today, we are proud to launch the largest investment in our state’s history to end veteran homelessness in Massachusetts. It is through this initiative that we will work to ensure that every veteran in our state has a safe and stable place to call home.”

“No one who served our country should ever worry about having a roof over their heads,” Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “This campaign acts on our administration’s shared commitment to restore dignity, provide hope, and keep a promise to our veterans that they will never be forgotten or left behind. As the daughter of a veteran, I appreciate the positive impact this initiative will have on all of Massachusetts’ veterans.”

“Homelessness continues to be a serious problem for the men and women who bravely served our country,” said Congressman Stephen Lynch. “It is important we remain proactive to ensure our nation’s veterans receive the help and treatment they deserve. I am proud to support Governor Healey’s campaign to End Veteran Homelessness in Massachusetts and I will continue to do all I can to secure federal funding for programs that will help her administration achieve its goal.”

“This campaign signifies a monumental commitment to addressing veteran homelessness in Massachusetts,” said Secretary of Veterans Services Jon Santiago. “Our mission is clear: bring veteran homelessness to functional zero and establish the necessary infrastructure to sustain this achievement.”

“No veteran should ever be homeless,” said Secretary Housing and Livable Communities Ed Augustus. “They have served our country and now is the time for our country to serve them. But we must do more than just provide them with a safe and warm place to live. Many of our veterans need wrap-around services not only to survive, but to thrive. They need our support and we will not let them down.”

“All veterans here in Boston and across the Commonwealth should be consistently engaged and connected to safe, stable housing,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I’m thrilled to support the Healey-Driscoll administration’s historic investments to end veteran homelessness. I look forward to working with the administration and all of our partners to better connect veterans to permanent housing, access to behavioral health services, and technical assistance to community providers.”

The campaign comprises of five pillars strategically designed to address the multifaceted challenges faced by homeless veterans:

  • Homelessness Outreach to Placement Effort (HOPE): The HOPE campaign is an intensive, geographically equitable initiative to engage directly with homeless veterans and facilitate their placement into stable housing. HOPE seeks to better coordinate and fund veteran housing efforts across federal, state, and municipal entities, including increasing access to comprehensive behavioral health services and providing flexible housing assistance funds for homeless veterans.
  • Capital Investments Supporting Veteran Housing: The campaign will provide capital investments to support acquisition, rehabilitation, or construction of affordable housing for veterans.
  • Aligning Supportive Services with Veteran Housing Goals: The Healey-Driscoll Administration will allocate funds to veteran service providers offering supportive services to veterans experiencing housing instability.
  • End Veteran Homelessness Advisory Council: An advisory council of stakeholders in the veteran, housing, and homelessness space, will provide guidance and support to achieve and end veteran homelessness.
  • Empowering and Supporting our Veteran Service Providers: The Healey-Driscoll Administration will provide opportunities for technical assistance to veteran service providers to undergo efforts such as grant writing, strategic planning, operations, etc. This initiative will provide access to expert support to empower veteran community-based providers in maximizing their impact and tapping into additional sources of funding.

Veterans represent three percent of homeless individuals in Massachusetts. Currently, approximately 500-600 veterans are experiencing homelessness in the state, per the Point in Time (PIT) count. This is often compounded by mental health and substance use challenges.

In 2021, the Massachusetts Legislature allocated $20 million in ARPA funds to support geographically equitable investments in veteran housing. The End Veteran Homelessness campaign utilizes this $20 million to fund investments in veteran homelessness services and housing infrastructure, ensuring that resources are distributed across the state to address the needs of homeless veterans in all regions. Concurrently, EOVS, in partnership with Pennrose Construction is developing 220 units of mixed-income affordable veterans housing on the domiciliary campus side of the Massachusetts Veterans Home at Chelsea.

For more information on the End Veteran Homeless Campaign, visit mass.gov/endvethomelessness.

Statements of Support

Representative Gerry Cassidy, House Chair, Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs:

“This initiative will provide critical support to our veteran community. The multifaceted approach exhibited here is crucial to ending veteran homelessness in the Commonwealth. Every veteran should, and will, have a home. I am grateful for the collaborative work between our federal partners, Governor Healey, EOVS, and EOHLC.”

Senator Lydia Edwards:

“As an advocate for our veterans I am deeply committed to the mission of ending veteran homelessness, and I’m thrilled to be part of this groundbreaking campaign led by the Healey-Driscoll Administration. By investing $20 million and implementing strategic pillars such as the Homelessness Outreach to Placement Effort (HOPE), Capital Investments Supporting Veteran Infrastructure, and empowering community-based services, we are taking concrete steps towards our goal. Through collaboration, innovation, and unwavering dedication, we will ensure that no veteran in Massachusetts is left without a home by 2027.”

Andy McCawley, President and CEO, New England Center and Home for Veterans:

“The New England Center and Home for Veterans is pleased and honored to host the announcement of this important new initiative by the Healey/Driscoll Administration to support Veterans and end Veteran homelessness in Massachusetts. A proactive, robustly funded, and integrated campaign is the demonstrated best approach to ensuring that everyone who has served this nation in uniform has a home. This initiative once again demonstrates that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts absolutely leads the nation in honoring and supporting its Veterans.”

Juana B. Matias, Regional Administrator, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):

“HUD is committed to working with the VA as well as the Executive Office of Veteran Services to ensure our veterans can secure the safe, stable housing and services they need and deserve. We look forward to building on these strong partnerships and collaborations to continue our fight to end homelessness among veterans in Massachusetts once and for all.”

Patrick George, President, Massachusetts Veterans Service Officers Association (MVSOA):

“MVSOA stands in full support of the collaborative efforts led by EOVS and other state agencies to address veteran homelessness in Massachusetts. We are committed to playing our part in assisting veterans and their families in accessing the resources and support they need.”

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