During this year's Housing Alliance "Homes Within Reach" Conference, the Pennsylvania HUD and VA Homeless Veterans Collaborative was honored for their unified team approach focused on eliminating veterans' homelessness. Through their collaboration they created a seamless, state-wide safety net for homeless veterans, linking with many housing authorities and community partners along the way. At the heart of their journey was the intent to make certain that every Veteran had "a place to call home."
Through the efforts of Debra Martin, Meaghan Messner and Michael Wehrer, HUD and VA joint training sessions on working with homeless Veterans have been made available to nearly 100 public housing authorities and 10 Veterans' medical facilities across the state. Regular communication meetings also occur and best practices are readily shared to strengthen relationships amongst those who work so diligently to make sure that each and every Veteran is properly linked to housing and services. As a result of this coordination, over 1,200 homeless Veterans and their families have found a place to call home since 2008. HUD, VA and all of their myriad community stakeholders acting in unison, continue to advance their mission to end Veteran homelessness by 2015.
The PNC Housing Hero awards are sponsored by PNC Real estate Tax Credit Capital and PNC Community Development Banking to recognize programs whose creative approaches have allowed them to achieve proven results in addressing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's most pressing housing problems.