Gov. John Carney announced June 22 that Delaware has housed more than 500 formerly homeless veterans since joining the national Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in 2015.

In 2015, Delaware joined the national challenge, committing the state, leaders of all three counties and the mayors of eight towns and cities to the initiative. So far, it is one of three states and 47 counties or cities to have achieved an effective end to veteran homelessness. The Delaware State Housing Authority has led those efforts through a statewide working group to coordinate resources on behalf of veterans.

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs certified in October that Delaware has a sustainable and systematic response in place to ensure that homelessness among veterans is prevented whenever possible.

The state developed a process to share data, increased targeting of resources to homeless veterans with the greatest need and improved connections between resource providers. DSHA and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services also set aside state-funded rental assistance vouchers for homeless veterans who did not qualify for federal assistance.

Partners in Delaware’s statewide initiative to end veteran homelessness included local and county governments; the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs; the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services; Housing Alliance Delaware; Delaware Continuum of Care; and Supportive Services for Veterans Families providers, including Connections Community Support Programs and the Veterans Multi-Service Center.

About 300 of the housed veterans were in New Castle County, with about 100 in Kent and Sussex counties each.