IN THE NEWS: Long Beach Cites Progress in Finding Homes for Homeless Veterans

This story appeared in NBC4 Los Angeles on April 29, 2015.

Long Beach is on track to join the ranks of US cities that have made sufficient housing available for every veteran in need, Mayor Robert Garcia said Wednesday.

In four years, the number of homeless veterans in the city has been reduced from 309 to 94, as of the biennial survey conducted earlier this year. On average, housing is found for 12-15 a month, according to the city’s figures.

The challenge to provide housing for every homeless veteran by the end of 2015 had been issued last year by President Obama.

“We will end veteran homelessness in Long Beach this year,” Garcia said.

Garcia cited cooperation with the VA Healthcare Systems, and nonprofit veterans assistance organizations, including the United States Veterans Intiative, known as U.S.VETS. U.S.VETS provides housing to some 550 veterans in the Century Villages at Cabrillo, developed on the former Naval housing site for the Long Beach Shipyard, which closed in 1997.

Over the years, it has provided transitional housing to thousands of veterans while they gain control of the issues that resulted in their homelessness, said Steve Peck, a Marine Corps veteran who serves as President and CEO of U.S.VETS.

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