New national initiative to help Honolulu’s homeless veterans

Homeless in Waikiki

National experts have set high goals for ending the homeless problem on Oahu.

Honolulu is part of a campaign known as the 25 Cities Initiative, which was launched to help communities with high concentrations of homeless veterans.

The goal is to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 and end chronic homelessness by the end of 2016.

Experts say it can be done by focusing on providing housing, even to those with alcohol and drug addiction problems.

“(The issue is) how do we move people as quickly as possible from their experience of homelessness into housing with very few barriers in their way and wrap around the right level of services to be support,” said Matthew Doherty, Director of National Initiatives for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Experts say by eliminating the veteran and chronic homeless first, other homeless problems will be easier to solve.

The campaign is a joint effort by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and local community partners.

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