Finding homes for the homeless in Tucson - Tucson News Now

Finding homes for the homeless in Tucson

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Chronic homelessness is a major problem for veterans across the country. That means they've been without a place to live for an entire year.

But Arizona is making great strides against this problem. A local veteran says Tucson is doing a great job with homeless vets and that five years from now the problem will hopefully be non-existent.

Michael is a Vietnam War veteran. He did not want us to show his face or use his last name. He said he used to live in a camp for years.

“I lived down by the railroad tracks by speedway and had to go to the churches every night to eat,” Michael said.

Now he lives in Section 8 housing. It's a far cry from the streets, but he still feels bad for those who aren't so lucky.

“I think that's terrible, you know a man goes over to fight a war to keep everybody else safe and they can't treat them any better than that. That's terrible,” Michael said.

He was helped out by Cliff Wade who is the vice chair of Tucson Veterans Serving Veterans.

“Here, in Tucson we're housing veterans every single day,” said Wade.

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there are nearly 58,000 homeless vets across the country.

Back in 2009, the Veterans Affairs Department started a program aimed at ending that problem by 2015.

One of the success stories in Arizona is Phoenix. The city was able to get all counted 220 chronically homeless vets into some sort of housing. Wade says here in Tucson the last count from their latest “Arizona Stand Down” event counted 75 homeless vets. Of those, he said, three quarters were placed in some sort of housing.

“It's exciting because it's actually setting up a way for us to be able to identify and house those who are chronically vulnerable individuals,” said Wade.

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