There is no more important housing issue in this country than when a person or a family has no housing at all. It is even more tragic when that person is a veteran who once served our nation.
Homelessness makes us uncomfortable. Some are tempted to look away and surrender to the notion that it’s a problem too big to solve. That’s not true. This is a problem we can solve. Last week, I was honored to join the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust to mark giant steps toward effectively ending veteran homelessness in South Florida.
Ending homelessness isn’t some lofty goal or simple public declaration. It involves the heavy lift of creating a system to ensure that when homelessness happens, it’s rare, brief and non-recurring. Miami-Dade County is joining a growing national movement, currently including 63 other communities, to end veteran homelessness.
This is not easy. To achieve this goal, the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust needed to drive down the number of veterans experiencing homelessness by building a system that supports long-term and lasting solutions. My agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is part of a larger federal effort to end homelessness in all its various forms. Along with the Department of Veterans Affairs and others, we have made incredible progress at reducing veteran homelessness.
This op-ed appeared in the Miami Herald on August 6, 2018.