Mayor Adler hopes Austin will have zero homeless Vets by year's end

On Tuesday, a day before Veterans Day, hundreds of Veterans who work for the City of Austin gathered at the Palmer Events Center.
  
Free lunch on the city, a thank you for their service.
  
"They have an awards ceremony that they put on, and thank those department heads for hiring Veterans through the City of Austin. Because the City of Austin has an initiative to ensure that they hire a high percentage of Veterans," said Jason Denny, chairman of the Austin Veterans Commission.

Actually, according to a recent study by WalletHub on the best cities for Veterans to live in, Austin ranked number nine in the entire country.

But some Veterans are still struggling in our streets -- an issue Mayor Steve Adler has been trying to put an end to.

"Setting a goal like this is real important for the city and we set big goals and big cities need to do that," Adler said.

The goal was zero homeless Veterans by Veterans Day.  But now they're on track for the end of the year.

"You know I would have liked to have gotten this done by Veterans Day.  It didn't happen.  But we have I think discovered a process and a procedure and a collaborative that's going to be able to get this done," Adler said.

In January, 234 Austin Veterans were counted as homeless.  Mayor Adler helped the non-profit community find 200 beds in the city. The Ending Community Homelessness Coalition tells FOX 7 of those 200, 82 rental properties have been leased.

Adler says the total is even more than that.

"Since it was 234 we've probably housed about 112 of those folks.  We're a little over 100 still to go," Adler said.

The Mayor says there are several dozen Veterans being processed to be placed right now.

ECHO says Veterans who are able to pay for their apartment will do so. Others need some financial help.

Thankfully said Adler, the donations from the community have been plentiful.

"We had originally set a goal at I think about $150,000 in this fund.  We have received at this point about $300,000 and we have pledges at about a half a million," Adler said.

ECHO tells FOX 7 there are plenty of ways the public can help with this.
  
If you've got housing that would be good for a Veteran, call the mayor's office or call ECHO.
  
And of course if you don't have housing but you have money you can donate, that works too.

The website for Housing Heroes is www.housingheroesaustin.org

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