Homelessness is a widespread and complex problem that impacts every large city in America. And sadly due to a variety of factors, many Veterans experience homelessness.
In 2015, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers signed the Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, joining other mayors and local leaders across the nation in a public commitment to making sure that every Veteran who served America, has a home in America.
And in the ensuing four years, with substantial help from local service providers, the City has come very close to achieving this goal with another milestone recently announced.
In collaboration with Rocky Mountain Human Services - Homes for All Veterans and Peak Military Care Network, the City has developed The Pikes Peak Veteran Housing Fund, a privately funded initiative that incentivizes landlords to house military veterans experiencing homelessness in our community.
"It’s our vision that this fund will incentivize landlords across our community to house veterans experiencing homelessness, giving us enough housing to actually solve the problem completely," said Suthers.
Many local veterans are able to get vouchers from the Veterans Administration toward monthly rent. But as our local rents have increased, the housing vouchers increasingly don’t cover the cost, making it less likely a landlord will accept the voucher. However, the new fund will bridge the gap in rent between the voucher and the going rate and will create a safety net to cover damages that a landlord may experience while housing a Vet.
The fund will provide a variety of incentives, compensation and the security of added tenant support and mediation for property owners who choose to participate in the program.
This fund was one of the final goals of the City's 2019 Homelessness Initiative.