In June 2016 the Veteran Community Triage Group set a goal to house 111 veterans by November 11th; Veteran’s Day! The group is comprised of numerous partnering community agencies including the Veterans Administration, City and County Housing Authorities, Salt Lake County Government, The Road Home, Volunteers of America, Utah, First Step House, and the State Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) team. Over the past four years this group has met every Thursday at 9 a.m. to collaborate on how to best serve veterans experiencing homelessness.
A few months ago the leadership of these agencies met for a housing boot camp and set a two pronged goal: 1) create a “By Name List” of every veteran experiencing homelessness in Salt Lake County through the HMIS that would be updated live by all partners 2) once the list was completed, confirm veteran status for any individual who identifies as being a veteran.
At the beginning of June, the community agreed that the “By Name List” goal was accomplished. During one of the Thursday meetings the list showed 113 veterans with verified military status in HMIS currently experiencing homelessness, and an additional 90 individuals needed their veteran status confirmed. It was time to set a placement goal!
All parties offered resources their agency could provide to house veterans. They looked at how many veterans they currently knew were verified and homeless – 113. Needing an inspiring slogan, a specific number of veterans, and an end date it was decided to try and place 111 of the 113 verified veterans by Veteran’s Day, 11/11.
During this time the community also provided additional outreach to the veterans still needing to confirm their veteran status. All agencies have buckled down bringing veteran housing resources. With all of the community resources and collaboration in place the Veteran Community Triage Group has now placed to date 113 Veterans into housing!