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Minneapolis, St. Paul Join Forces To End Veteran Homelessness

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A major effort is underway to end homelessness in the Twin Cities with a special emphasis on those who are suffering after serving our country.

It’s a joint project between St. Paul and Minneapolis, and the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis joined forces for Friday’s announcement in downtown Minneapolis. Their goal is not to curb homelessness in the metro, but end it altogether.

According to state numbers, there are about 350 homeless veterans in Minnesota. Nearly 200 of them live in the twin cities. The new goal is to end veterans’ homelessness by 2015 with a mixture of programs and efforts on the local, state and federal levels.

“On a day like today or with the weather we’ve had the last couple weeks, why this is not just a matter of conscience, it’s a crisis,” said St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “We cannot have people living on the streets of our cities. It is wrong, we’re better than that.”

“Minneapolis and St. Paul should be cities where every person can thrive,” said Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. “All people, especially our veterans, deserve a home. I’m proud to be partnering with St. Paul and Mayor Coleman in taking on this challenge. While it’s a friendly competition, I sincerely hope that we all win.”

Among the programs aimed at helping homeless vets is Section 8 housing vouchers, issued through grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Officials said the VA will play a key role in these new efforts.

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