KOKOMO, IND (March 12, 2021) – The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a letter to Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore recently to inform him that the Indiana Region 5 Planning Council, as part of the Indiana Balance of State Continuum of Care (IN-502), has effectively ended homelessness among Veterans.
“On behalf of USICH and our federal partners, we recognize and appreciate your extraordinary team and look forward to continuing our collaboration as we work to end homelessness for all Americans,” said Anthony Love, Interim Executive Director for the USICH.
To be recognized as having achieved the goal, communities must meet the requirements laid out in the federal Criteria and Benchmarks for Ending Veteran Homelessness, which are intended to help communities drive down the number of Veterans experiencing homelessness to as close to zero as possible, while building systems that support long-term, lasting solutions.
Mayor Tyler Moore stated, “The City of Kokomo could not be more proud of the efforts of so many agencies working together to achieve this incredible status and recognition. Our local Veterans deserve as much as we can give them, and so knowing that Kokomo and Howard County have succeeded in providing the most basic necessity that many of our homeless Veterans need is very exciting. Again, special thanks for all the agencies involved that have helped the community achieve this.”
The Region 5 Planning Council played a critical role in this distinction. This council consists of a variety of organizations in Cass, Miami, Wabash, Howard, and Tipton counties. The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) serves as the collaborative applicant for the Indiana Balance of State Continuum of Care.
“We are honored to join Region 5 and other communities around the state and country in attempting to bring an end to Veteran homelessness,” said Jacob Sipe, Executive Director for IHCDA. “This distinction really speaks to the collaboration and commitment by so many individuals and organizations in North Central Indiana.”
A variety of organizations contributed to this designation by helping to house Veterans experiencing homelessness. These organizations include but are not limited to: Family Service Association- Jackson Street Commons, United Way-Mission United, Coordinated Assistance Ministries, Kokomo Rescue Mission, Emmaus Mission, Kokomo Housing Authority, Indiana Department of Veteran’s Affairs (IDVA) the Veterans Committee-HMIS, Coordinated Entry committee, and the Veterans Administration through the use of HUD VASH Vouchers, By Name List and Supportive Services for Veterans and Families.
“Every day we make sure we are working to take care of Veterans in our community. We are immensely proud of the work our local agencies and organizations have done, and continue to do, in assisting Veterans in their greatest time of need. This is another example of great teamwork, and is quite an honor for Howard County,” said Howard County Commissioner, Paul Wyman.
Former Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight originally signed on to the Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran homelessness and Mayor Moore renewed that effort in 2020. Since its launch in 2014, approximately 80 communities across the countryhave achieved this goal. Region 5 is the first community in Indiana to receive this distinction.