City of Tucson hoping to change lives of veterans

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - New this morning, a bold goal for Tucson, the city is hoping to put an end to veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.

There are well over 300 vets in Pima County that are homeless, but the City of Tucson thinks it is possible to bring that number down to zero.

It is something the U.S. Veterans Administration has made a priority.  Tucson recently sent a team of six people to a workshop in Los Angeles to help them with their goal that they actually adopted from the VA.

The workshop was designed to help communities who are already assisting homeless vets, to give them new and more efficient ways to help and reduce the numbers.

Tucson News Now spoke with a team member from Tucson who went and she said they really want to cut some of the red tape and speed up the process of getting these vets in homes.  And there are plenty in and around Tucson that are in need.

"At last count Tucson had 353 homeless veterans on any given night," said Dr. Keith Harris, the VA National Director of Clinical Operations.  "In the state as a whole it's close to 1,500 homeless vets on any given night.  There are certainly cities and states with larger numbers but that is 353 too many in Tucson. "

Since 2009 the VA has reduced the number of homeless vets in the U.S. by more than 17 percent.

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