The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs awarded Preble Street more than $2 million to provide housing for the state’s veteran homeless population.
Preble Street Veterans Housing Services (VHS) assists veterans and their families to find and maintain stable housing and works to end homelessness among veterans throughout Maine. The team covers all 16 of the state’s counties with offices in Portland, Lewiston, Bangor, and Machias. Maine has the third highest percentage of veterans in the country—the flexible models employed by VHS are critical to meet the range of needs, resources, and situations of veterans living in both rural and urban areas of a large state.
“The VA’s continued funding of VHS has a tremendous impact on veteran families experiencing homelessness throughout Maine,” says VHS Program Manager Rob Liscord. “This grant will allow us to solidify our important successes and continue to collaborate with community partners across the state to address the needs of Maine’s veteran families experiencing homelessness, and the stressors associated with a lack of safe and affordable shelter, food, and healthcare.”
In 2016, VHS worked with 335 Veteran Households—a total of 556 individual clients—including homeless families with children. Recent successes include:
- 101 homeless veterans housed across Maine (Jan-Sep 2017)
- 46% drop in average length of homelessness among veterans (Jan-Sep 2017)
- 42% drop in chronic homelessness among veterans (over past year)
“Despite the great progress made in addressing veteran homelessness, the need for assistance remains great as we’ve seen a jump in the number of requests this very quarter compared to last year,” Rob continued. “It’s a privilege to work every day to ensure that veteran homelessness is rare, brief and nonrecurring, but there’s still a need to address the issues of poverty that lead to homelessness such as lack of healthcare, access to food, and sufficient income.”