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davenport ends veteran homelessness

Davenport ends veteran homelessness
Posted on 11/10/2020
Mayor Mike Matson, second from left, stands for a photo with Allison Hannah, of the VA to his left, and Karen Abendroth, second from right, and Ashley Velez, of Humility Housing Services, right.

Nov. 10, 2020 — The City of Davenport and Mayor Mike Matson are proud to announce that Davenport and the Quad-Cities Bi-State Region has been confirmed as achieving an effective end to veteran homelessness, making the region the 80th community in the United States to do this.

Read the letter.

The Quad-Cities Bi-State Region has demonstrated it has a system, the capacity and commitment to quickly identify and house veterans experiencing homelessness. The system includes an identifying process, the ability to provide shelter immediately to any veteran who wants it, the availability of services-intensive transitional housing in limited instances and the capacity to move veterans quickly into permanent housing. In the past 18 months, the Quad-Cities has seen a 53 percent reduction in veterans experiencing literal homelessness.

“I am very proud of the City of Davenport and our partners like the CRRC, local non-profits and the Veteran Administration’s Karen Abendroth working together to end veteran homelessness,” Mayor Matson said. “Davenport is committed to helping our veterans achieve success.”

Community partners applied for a review of the Quad-Cities Bi-State region’s plan and its benchmarks in July 2020. The review was done by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Mayor Matson and the other Quad-City mayors accepted the challenge of ending veteran homelessness less than a year ago, with Davenport passing its proclamation on Nov. 26, 2019. Community partners who work with the homeless, veterans and housing were making a concerted effort during 2019 to collect data and complete a coordinated entry system to meet the criteria and its benchmarks.

“Our Quad Cities VA Homeless Team has had the privilege of continued collaboration with community partners at the local, state and federal levels,” said Karen Abendroth, Homeless Programs Supervisor with the Veterans Administration. “We would have never been able to reach this point without the dedication and compassion so many have put into their work to ensure every veteran experiencing homelessness has access to safe and affordable housing. And while we celebrate today, we must also be mindful that this declaration is not an end state but a milestone that we will continue to build off of to ensure that Veteran homelessness in the Quad Cities remains rare, brief and a one-time occurrence.”

The partners involved in achieving this confirmation are: Humility Homes and Services, Christian Care, Goodwill of the Heartland, Iowa City VA Health Care System- Quad Cities Veteran Homeless Team, Quad Cities Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), Quad Cities Bi-State Region Coordinated Entry Committee lead by Salvation Army and Project Now, Iowa Balance of State Continuum of Care (CoC), Illinois - 518 Continuum of Care (CoC), City of Davenport, Greater Metro, Moline Housing Authorities and Community Home Partners (formerly RI PHA), Bridging the Gap, Quad Cities Veteran Outreach Center, Scott County Veteran Service Office and Rock Island County Veteran Assistance Commission, Quad Cities Shelter and Transitional Housing Council, Quad Cities Housing Cluster.

Locally, the City of Davenport provides free CitiBus transportation so that veterans can more easily get to events like medical appointments and job interviews. Housing options have been a barrier, but community partners worked to increase the number of property managers and owners willing to rent to veterans. Cities have also worked to get a homeless liaison police officer to provide numerous referrals.

If you are a veteran or know a veteran who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, please contact the VA Community Resource and Referral Center at 563-328-5800 or call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 1-877-424-3838.