Homelessness among veterans has dropped in half since 2009

Homelessness among veterans in Hennepin County has dropped by about 53 percent since 2009, according to figures released by county officials today.

There were 126 homeless veterans counted last year, down from 267 in 2009, said Maria Elena Baca, a county spokeswoman. 

County leaders attribute the decrease to increased collaboration among government departments and private outreach organizations working on housing homeless veterans. 

“Where we focused our efforts and resources as a community, we’re having a significant impact, and our success at housing veterans is one example of that,” said Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman in a prepared statement. 

More than 140 veterans have been housed.

“We’re ahead of the curve and we’re on track to end veteran homelessness in our community,” said Matthew Ayres, a project manager for the city/county Office to End Homelessness.

A new Department of Veterans Affairs Community Resource and Referral Center opened in Loring Park on Sept. 18. It’s one of 17 in the country as part of the Obama administration’s efforts to end homelessness among veterans.