In early 2021, United Way of Denton County led conversations with the Denton County Homelessness Leadership Team, Denton County Homeless Coalition and the Denton County Behavioral Health Leadership Team’s Veteran Workgroup on how the community could achieve the goal begun in 2018, to End Veteran Homelessness in Denton County, according to a UWDC news release. Mayors of Lewisville and Denton previously signed on to the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness and continue to support the goal.
Local agencies have identified 25 veterans currently experiencing homelessness in Denton County, and the agencies will meet weekly to create individualized and innovative plans for each veteran to gain client-focused housing solutions. They are able to get started now because they now have the funding, from variations of CARES Act funds from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Denton County Commissioners Court and Texas Homeless Network
“Our Denton County agencies know and see the need each day of people who deserve safe and stable housing,” said Elena Lusk, Director of Housing & Homelessness Initiatives at United Way of Denton County. “We have the skills. We have the passion. We have the data behind it all. It was just a matter of funding, and now we have that too. We were built to end homelessness in Denton County and our first step on that journey is getting Veterans into housing.”
Volunteers are needed to create Welcome Home kits for veterans to get off to a great start in their new housing with basic necessities, to transport furniture to new units, and/or to donate to the Veterans Barriers Fund to help veterans overcome obstacles into housing not met with current programs.
Agencies involved in this collaborative effort include: United Way of Denton County, City of Denton, City of Lewisville, Texas Homeless Network, US Department of Veterans Affairs Tarrant County office, Christian Community Action, Denton Affordable Housing Corporation, Denton County Friends of the Family, Denton County MHMR, Denton County Veteran Community Navigators, Denton Housing Authority, Giving Hope Inc., Grace Like Rain, Humanitaria Corporation, The Junction (Our Daily Bread), Metrocrest Services, Next Steps, Recovery Resource Council and The Salvation Army of North Texas.
Find a complete list of ways to help End Veteran Homelessness in Denton County, learn more about the 100-Day Challenge, and track progress toward the goal at www.unitedwaydenton.org/100Days