Frequently Asked Questions
What is Housing our Heroes: Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness?
The purpose of the Housing our Heroes challenge is for mayors and their communities to publicly express their commitment and provide leadership to implement the strategies necessary for their communities to end homelessness among all Veterans in Charlotte-Mecklenburg by December 31, 2015.
Who is working on this initiative?
This is a collaborative effort between leaders from the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, Veterans Administration, Charlotte Housing Authority, Charlotte Bridge Home, Community Link, Supportive Housing Communities, Salvation Army, Urban Ministry Center, Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, Alston Wilkes, Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry, Family Endeavors and Crisis Assistance Ministry.
Is the goal to end all Veteran homelessness, or just chronic homelessness among Veterans and/or just homelessness among unsheltered Veterans?
The national goal is to end homelessness among all Veterans in 2015. There are important milestones along the way to that goal, including ending chronic homelessness among Veterans and housing all Veterans who are unsheltered – milestones that are worth celebrating.
How do you define “Veteran”? Does it include those who may be ineligible for Veteran Health Administration (VHA) benefits?
For the purpose of ending Veteran homelessness, we consider all Veterans as part of the definition –including those who are ineligible for VHA benefits. HUD’s Continuums of Care (CoCs) are charged with serving all people experiencing homelessness, including Veterans. HUD is using its 2013 and 2014 CoC funding competitions to encourage CoCs to collaborate with their local VA Medical Centers to ensure that CoC-funded providers serving Veterans prioritize those who may not be eligible to participate in VA’s health care system and in VA’s homeless programs and services. Both VA and HUD encourage communities to make connections at the local level between CoCs and VA Medical Centers to identify and connect Veterans to the housing and services that best meet their needs.
When does the Housing our Heroes challenge begin and end?
Housing our Heroes began on July 6, 2014. We are all working toward the goal of ending Veteran homelessness by December 31, 2015 – as measured in the January 2016 Point in Time count.
How many veterans does Charlotte-Mecklenburg need to house to reach its goal of ending Veteran Homelessness by December 31, 2015?
What numbers do we use to measure progress?
The goal of ending Veteran homelessness will be measured in the January 2016 Point in Time count, with the January 2015 Point in Time count a good interim progress marker. Additionally, some communities may choose to use other strategies, like a local Veteran Stand Down event or intensive street outreach and surveying, to gauge progress toward the ultimate goal.
What is a Point in Time (PIT) count?
The PIT count is conducted annually, on one night, in the last week of January. It is a snap shot of the number of people sheltered and unsheltered in our community. On this one night we identify the number of homeless persons who are living in a place not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations for humans, and the number of homeless persons living in emergency shelters and transitional housing.
How will we know when we have succeeded, and when can we claim victory?
We will know we have succeeded when we have a systematic end to Veteran homelessness, which means there are no Veterans sleeping on our streets and every Veteran has access to permanent housing. Should Veterans become or be at-risk of becoming homeless, we will have the capacity to quickly connect them to the help they need to achieve housing stability. When those three things are accomplished we can claim victory.