Orlando has hit a milestone: the end of chronic homeless veterans. The Central Florida Commission on Homelessness and other leaders came together Thursday morning to acknowledge their accomplishment.
“There’s over a thousand veterans that got housing just in the last 24 months alone,” said the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness CEO Andrae Bailey.
The key: multiple agencies worked together to put a roof over a homeless person's head, one veteran at a time. “I’m really proud of our community," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "We set a goal to end homelessness, our chronically homeless veterans and we achieved that."
First Lady Michelle Obama acknowledged the city’s work too. A White House representative, Matthew Doherty with the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness read her letter. She said, “I’m so proud of communities like yours that have taken important steps toward ending chronic veteran homelessness.”
She also said her “thoughts remain with Orlando” as the city continues to grieve after for the Pulse nightclub victims. The Commission on Homelessness almost canceled the event because the community is still in mourning, but city leaders decided against it. “I think we need to celebrate our successes even in this two week period that was the most devastated time in the history of our city, we’re still doing good things,” said Mayor Dyer.
Organizers say the work on ending homelessness is far from over, but this is a step closer in reaching their goal.