LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – Mayor Mark Stodola announced during a farewell reception Thursday that the City of Little Rock has become the first jurisdiction in the state of Arkansas to effectively end veteran homelessness.
“When we say we have ‘effectively ended’ veteran homelessness, that means that we have a sustainable, systematic response in place that ensures homelessness is prevented whenever possible, or is otherwise a rare, brief, and one-time experience,” Stodola said.
Stodola said Little Rock’s strategy has been confirmed by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
“We’ve re-tooled programs and systems to be more coordinated and overall more effective at finding our most vulnerable veterans, triaging their needs, and then navigating them to the most appropriate housing resources and supportive services,” he said pointing to key partners such as: Central Arkansas Team Care for the Homeless member agencies, Metropolitan Housing Alliance, St. Francis House, Inc., SSVF Program and Little Rock Community Mental Health Center.
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness said Little Rock is an example for other cities.
“Congratulations to Mayor Stodola and all the partners who have worked tirelessly to ensure that veterans have a safe and stable place to call home in Little Rock,” said Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. “Today, Little Rock adds to our proof that ending homelessness is possible, not just for veterans, but for everyone.”