One year into a program to battle homelessness among veterans in Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh said Thursday the city has found homes for 367 service members.
"No veteran should have to sleep on the street, and Boston is going to change that,"Walsh said in a statement. "I'm proud that the City of Boston is housing veterans at a rate of approximately one per day, and I look forward to announcing the functional end of veterans homelessness by the end of the year."
The city last year launched a registry for veterans searching for homes and encouraged landlords and brokers to register available units online. Employers currently hiring were also asked to register on the city’s Homes for the Brave website.
Since last July, the city also reduced time veterans spent in shelters, according to the release. Sixty percent of veterans left shelters within six months over the past year, up from 50 percent last year. The average stay in a shelter for a homeless veteran was now 44 days, the release said.
The city planned to host a meeting for the housing community at the Brighton Marine Health Center Thursday night at 5 p.m. and again the following week.
Among other initiatives, meanwhile,the city was helping fund a $31 million upgrade to the New England Center for Homeless Veterans, adding 35 units of housing and renovating 59, according to the release, and plannsalso included converting a Bostonpolice station into 24 affordable units with priority given to veterans.
The Mayor’s Office in June, 2015 launched a plan to end homelessness for veterans and homelessness called chronic – people without homes for more than one year or who experienced homelessness four times in three years. The city also has set three goals by the end of 2015 that officials would consider a rate of “functional zero,” according to Thursday’s release:
•No veteran is forced to sleep on the street.
•When a veteran becomes homeless it will be rare and brief.
•All currently homeless veterans will be either housed or on a pathway to stable housing by the end of 2015.
“We are confident this will happen and that every veteran in Boston will be supported to achieve the success they deserve,” said C. Andrew McCawley, president and CEO of the New England Center for Homeless Veterans in a statement.