Lawrence M. Walsh
The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs has confirmed that the Will County Continuum of Care has effectively ended homelessness among veterans in the county.
“I am proud of the collaborative effort in Will County that is working towards ending homelessness for all of our veterans,” said Will County Executive Larry Walsh. “These veterans have made large sacrifices to protect our freedom and our nation. The very least we can do is assist them in finding permanent housing.”
Matthew Doherty, executive director of the USICH, sent a letter to Will County officials acknowledging the success of the Joliet, Bolingbrook/Will County Continuum of Care in ensuring any veteran in Will County who is experiencing homelessness will receive help to find permanent housing. He commended the infrastructure and systems the continuum has built to ensure any veteran experiencing homelessness in Will County quickly gets the support needed to find a permanent home.
“Through partnership and perseverance, Will County has become the 50th community in the nation to end veteran homelessness,” said Doherty “The lessons we learn from communities like Will County are helping us end homelessness for veterans nationwide.”
The Will County Continuum of Care is led by Will County Center for Community Concerns. The Continuum has a broad membership, including the following partners: the Will County Land Use Department, the Will County Veterans Assistance Commission, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet, Edward Hines Jr. VA Healthcare for Homeless Veterans/HUD VASH, Family and Friends Grant and Per Diem, Grundy County Veterans Assistance Commission, Joliet Police Department, Joliet Public Library, Joliet Neighborhood Services, Kendall County Veterans Assistance Commission, Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans, Morning Star Mission, Cornerstone Services, Inc.
In 2016, 59 Veterans were connected to permanent housing in the local community, averaging 58 days of homelessness. Since the beginning of 2017, 45 Veterans have been connected to permanent housing in the county.
"This is a great example of leaders coming together around the right strategies to end homelessness among our veterans," said Steven Braverman, M.D., director, Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital. "We truly appreciate the great work being done by our partners in the Will County Continuum to help solve this important issue."
“We at HUD are proud of the Will County Continuum of Care and community leaders’ achievement in effectively ending veteran homelessness,” said HUD Midwest Deputy Regional Administrator James A. Cunningham. “Communities around the country can now look to Will County as a model for ensuring that our nation’s heroes have a safe and stable place to call home. Through our ongoing collaboration we can and must uphold our own duty to support all those who have answered the call of duty.”
For information about the Will County Continuum of Care contact Will County Center for Community Concerns Homeless Services Director, Merridith Montgomery at (815) 722-0722 ext. 205 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured: Merridith Montgomery, Homeless Services Director, Will County Center for Community Concerns; Jennifer Rich, Director of Communications, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness; James Cunningham, Deputy Regional Administrator, US Dept of Housing and Urban Development; Will County Board Minority Leader Herbert Brooks, Jr.; Kris White, Executive Director, Will County Center for Community Concerns; Will County Executive Larry Walsh; Dr. Steven Braverman, Director, Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital; Will County Board Speaker Jim Moustis.