SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco’s effort to prioritize housing for homeless veterans is paying off according to Bevan Dufty, the city’s director of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE). According to Dufty, 110 chronically homeless vets have been found housing through the program in the past 100 days.
Three years ago, President Obama announced a goal of housing all the nation’s homeless vets by 2015, which prompted San Francisco to make the same commitment.
Dufty said there are a number of private landlords that have been willing to rent to veterans.
“We’ve also opened two buildings in the past year; both Veterans Commons and we have the Mission’s Veterans Residence at Mission and 21st Street,” he said.
Many of San Francisco’s veterans are older and chronically homeless, but Dufty said some are young and have recently seen combat.
“We do have veterans that have suffered medical injuries. They’ve come back with PTSD or psychological challenges. I think it’s really difficult when you’ve served your country and you’ve lost some things. You’ve lost time in your life. You may have lost relationships,” Dufty said.
Two years ago 17 percent of the city’s homeless population was veterans; now, according to Dufty, it’s down to 11 percent.
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