Dallas Mayor Johnson Announces Dallas and Collin Counties Effectively End Veteran Homelessness

Today, Dallas Mayor Eric L. Johnson announced that Dallas and Collin counties have effectively ended Veteran homelessness, according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  

“In Dallas, we have the utmost respect for our Veteran community,” Johnson said. “Men and women who sacrificed so much for our country should never be forsaken to live in homelessness. Today’s announcement means Dallas is now able to help any military Veteran quickly overcome homelessness and secure a home. This truly is an incredible accomplishment, and I am sincerely grateful to all our partners who made it possible.” 

In 2015, USICH released criteria and benchmarks for ending Veteran homelessness. Reaching an effective end to Veteran homelessness means the community is equipped to identify any Veterans who fall into homelessness and help them quickly move back home.  Dallas and Collin counties received this designation following a rigorous, 10-month data submission and validation process with federal agencies.  

“We applaud the local VA and all the partners in the All Neighbors Coalition in Dallas and Collin counties who have collaborated to change and save lives of the Veterans living in their community,” said USICH Executive Director Jeff Olivet. “This federal designation is a recognition that the system and resources in place in Dallas and Collin counties are working, but the effort must continue until no Veteran experiences homelessness. Communities like this are proving that homelessness is solvable—not just for Veterans but for everyone.” 

A total of 2,265 Veterans experiencing homelessness have been housed in Dallas and Collin counties since 2019. The region is among less than 20 percent of communities nationally to receive the designation. 

“This critical milestone shows that effectively ending Veteran homelessness is possible—in Dallas and Collin counties and across the country—when we work together,” said VA Principal Senior Advisor Meg Kabat. “We’ve made real progress in recent years, and today is evidence of that, but make no mistake: We will not rest until every Veteran in America has a safe and stable place to call home in this country they swore to defend.” 

In 2021, Dallas and Collin counties transformed its homeless response system with a laser focus on strategies that prioritize getting individuals, including Veterans, into housing and connected to wraparound support. Since then, homelessness overall dropped by 19 % and unsheltered homelessness dropped 24% in the region. These are the same evidence-based strategies that are attributed to a nationwide decline in Veteran homelessness by more than 52% since 2010.  

“Partners in the City and County of Dallas have used federal resources and programs like HUD-VASH effectively to house Veterans experiencing homelessness and connect them with vital supportive services,” said HUD Regional Administrator Candace Valenzuela. “Dallas is showing the country how local collaboration and partnership with the federal government can reduce and ultimately end homelessness, for Veterans and for all people.” 

Dallas and Collin counties are also one of six communities across the country participating in the ALL INside Initiative launched by USICH and the White House last year. Dedicated federal officials are assigned to the region to accelerate progress on reducing homelessness. This effort has helped the region cut red tape in federal programs that make it difficult for people to access housing, health care, and other support that helps people move off the streets and into homes.  

“Collaboration and commitment are the keys to eliminating Veteran homelessness,” said Jason Cave, J.D., SES, Director, VA North Texas Health Care System. “Together with our Veterans Affairs community partners, we are making a meaningful impact in the lives of those who have served our country. 

Added Sarah Kahn, president and CEO of Housing Forward, the lead agency for the All Neighbors Coalition that coordinates homelessness services for the region: “Effectively ending Veteran homelessness is the result of committed VA and homeless system partners, along with strategic public and private investment in proven rehousing practices. We must apply this approach to tackle homelessness more broadly by staying the course and expanding what works.” 

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