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Mesa announces plan to end veteran homelessness

MESA, Ariz. — The city of Mesa launched an effort Wednesday to put an end to veteran homelessness.

The city said it is joining a national effort to end homelessness among veterans, planning to accomplish the task by the of the year.

“We’re going to do all in our power to make sure that we have no homeless veterans in the city of Mesa,” said Mayor John Giles.

Giles said the city will be taking a housing-first mentality by using Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to get former servicemembers into homes and then provide them with the support they need to stay off the streets.

Once in housing, Giles said veterans will have access to services such as substance abuse counseling and employment help.

“If they’re in the middle of addiction or other issues, we don’t disqualify them from getting our help,” he said.

Giles said homelessness among veterans is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.

“It’s a problem everywhere, and Mesa is no exception,” he said.

As part of Wednesday’s announcement, the city will create a task force to spearhead the anti-homelessness effort.