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- The City of San Antonio submitted documents showing it had effectively ended veteran homelessness.
The City's Department of Human Services confirmed that the documentation was sent earlier this week to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH).
USICH, along with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs, will now evaluate the data San Antonio submitted. That process can take several weeks, according to Robert Pulster, a regional coordinator for USICH whose territory includes Texas.
"Theres generally a back-and-forth with the city so we’re sure we understand the information they submitted," USICH said. "That’s why the process can vary a little bit. It’s a learning opportunity for both parties, to understand their system and how we view the system."
From that dialog and the provided data, USICH will conclude whether or not San Antonio has effectively ended veteran homelessness. Cities such as New Orleans, Phoenix and Salt Lake City have already done so. San Antonio's goal was to meet the benchmark by March 31.
Under the USICH criteria, ending veteran homelessness does not mean that there are no longer any veterans on the street. Homelessness is not a crime, and a person doesn't have to move into a home if they choose not to.
Instead, the USICH designation means that a city has the systems and capacity to immediately house any veteran who wants to be. Here's the agency's full set of criteria:
For a more in-depth look at the city's efforts to end veteran homelessness read this story from this week's issue of the Current.
-The community has identified all veterans experiencing homelessness
-The community provides shelter immediately to any veteran experiencing unsheltered homelessness who wants it
-The community has capacity to assist veterans to swiftly move into permanent housing
-The community has resources, plans, and system capacity in place should any veteran become homeless or be at risk of homelessness in the future