Delaware Public Media

Gov. Markell's message focuses on ending veteran homelessness in Delaware

May 23, 2015

This Memorial Day weekend Gov. Jack Markell is using his weekly message to bring awareness to the problem of homeless veterans.

Markell said continuing to support soldiers after they return home is one way of honoring those who did not.

“Nothing should disturb us more than the continued high rate of homelessness amongst former service members. On any given night 100 veterans are homeless and an estimated 280 veterans will experience homelessness in Delaware over the course of 2015.”

Earlier this month, Markell detailed his plan to eliminate veteran homelessness in the state by the end of this year – creating a statewide working group to collaborate and coordinate the efforts with smaller local groups who will work directly with vets in need.

The plan is to identify homeless veterans and their individual needs  so they can be connected to the appropriate available resources.

To help a veteran who is currently or at-risk of being homeless, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs, or for emergency shelter, dial 211.

Full Text of Gov. Markell's weekly message:

Memorial Day is a time to honor and remember the brave, committed service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. Gone, but not forgotten, their selfless service ensures our continued freedom and safety.

And as we pay tribute to the fallen, we must also recognize that one of the ways we honor their service is through our support for their comrades who return home. We have made great strides: supporting veteran entrepreneurship, connecting veterans to employment and training, and reducing veteran unemployment rates.

But there is still more to be done to fulfill our obligation to the proud men and women who serve our country. Given that obligation, nothing should disturb us more than the continued high rate of homelessness amongst former service members.

On any given night, 100 veterans are homeless and an estimated 280 veterans will experience homelessness in Delaware over the course of 2015.

That’s why we’ve made a commitment to find homes for all homeless veterans in Delaware by the end of this year. Announced earlier this month, our plan will identify veterans who are currently homeless or at a high risk of homelessness. We’ll improve coordination between services designed for veterans and other homelessness prevention efforts, while maximizing the support available. And we’ll create 20 rental assistance vouchers dedicated to veterans.

With collaboration between federal, state and local partners and the community, we will reach our goal to end homelessness among veterans in Delaware, taking another step toward ensuring our veterans have every opportunity to live full, healthy lives in our state.

And that will keep Delaware moving forward.