Since the summer began, government and nonprofit providers have been working to implement the goals of Homeward DC, the District’s plan to ensure that by 2020 homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring. Two key benchmarks of the plan include:
●Ending veteran homelessness by the end of the year.
●Ending chronic homelessness by the end of 2017.
The Way Home, a grassroots campaign to end chronic and veteran homelessness, supports Homeward DC. Over the next year, we plan on highlighting the District’s progress towards ending chronic and veteran homelessness.
From June to August DC
Ended homelessness for 106 individuals most at risk of dying on the street through Permanent Supportive Housing
Ended homelessness for 128 veterans
The District is getting closer to ending veteran homelessness. As of July, 354 veterans still need housing (down from 737 vets in January!)
We know that these numbers show that DC is on the right path, but recognize that there is more work ahead to end chronic and veteran homelessness. Continued leadership and more resources will be needed to reach the goals laid out in Homeward DC.
Numbers do not tell the full story. In July, after over five years of sleeping on the street, Jeffrey Baldwin, moved into Permanent Supportive Housing at La Casa in Columbia Heights. Jeff, age 68, slept outside year round and was particularly at risk during the frigid winter months. Fortunately, he won’t have to face another winter without a home.
Jeff is an avid reader and now that he has his own home he has begun collecting books and shares his favorite stories with staff. In just a short time, Jeff’s health and well-being is improving dramatically. In just several months, Mr. Baldwin has thrived in Permanent Supportive Housing. He is finally getting medical care and will see a primary care doctor for a checkup soon. He has joined the resident council and is building a sense of community among staff and residents.
Mr. Baldwin is just one example of the many vulnerable people who are now in housing and on the road to recovery.