On Veteran’s Day, CAP Agency joined its partner in housing, Suburban Metro Area Continuum of Care (SMAC), to celebrate the effective end of Veteran homelessness in five Minnesota Counties including Scott, Carver, and Dakota counties, as well as Washington and Anoka counties. CAP Agency is part of the SMAC network of organizations, community residents, and businesses working together to end homelessness. After years of effort, the SMAC network has effectively ended Veteran homelessness in these communities.
The celebration event, held at the World War II Memorial on the Capital’s mall in Saint Paul, was led by Governor Tim Walz, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Herke, and SMAC Governing Board Vice Chair Rochelle Washington. In his address, Governor Walz stated, “Becoming the fourth state in the country to end Veteran homelessness has been a priority of our Administration since day one. Today’s announcement, on a day we honor all Veterans, is a major accomplishment toward that goal…Minnesota Veterans have served and sacrificed to protect the freedoms we all enjoy. Once they complete their service, we should ensure they have a safe place to call home.”
Ending Veteran homelessness does not mean that another Veteran will never experience homelessness in Minnesota; rather, the community has a homeless response system that prevents a Veteran from becoming homeless whenever possible, and any homeless experience is rare, brief and one time. Housing partners such as SMAC, MACV, the Minnesota and U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs, Minnesota Housing, and Metropolitan Council each contribute to a supportive safety net that helps veterans experiencing homelessness get the support they need and deserve. As one of just 10 Continuum of Care (COC) providers in the state, CAP is proud to be a part of this effective cohort working to end homelessness.
Watch a recording of the live declaration here.