Denton County nonprofits are seeing the fruits of over five years of labor as the system they collaborated to create now have the funds needed to work.
With variations of CARES Act funding from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Denton County Commissioners Court and Texas Homeless Network, these agencies together announce the 100-Day Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in Denton County, which started Thursday.
In early 2021, United Way of Denton County led conversations amongst providers and members of 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. Both city of Denton and city of Lewisville’s mayors previously signed on to the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness and continue to support the goal.
The 100-Day Challenge begins April 1 and will end July 10. Local agencies have identified 25 Veterans currently experiencing homelessness in Denton County. Agencies meet weekly to create individualized and innovative plans for each Veteran to gain client-focused housing solutions.
“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 and 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 End Veteran Homelessness 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.”
United Way of Denton County recognizes that homelessness and Veteran initiatives are a passion for many community members. 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 towards the goal at unitedwaydenton.org/100Days