56 veterans who once were homeless now have permanent housing.
The update was provided Tuesday to City Council as part of a presentation by the City of El Paso’s Military Affairs Liaison Dwayne Williams.
“Veterans have risked their lives for us. We owe them our respect and every opportunity possible to help them live comfortably,” Mayor Dee Margo said.
Williams, who joined the City in March 2017, participates in bi-weekly meetings with the El Paso Coalition for the Homeless and partners on “Veterans Functional Zero.” The coordination has helped place 56 veterans in permanent housing within the last 90 days.
“We are making great strides in building partnerships necessary to provide a support system for our veterans,” City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said.
Since Williams came on board, the City has established and strengthened its relationships with various groups to include the Veterans Affairs Advisory Board, the El Paso Veterans Treatment Court, Armed Forces Chamber Sub-Committees, and Veterans Functional Zero.
Other City initiatives for veterans include:
- Veteran Resources Website – The informative website provides valuable information in a centralized location to help veterans and their families better find resources and services. It features information on education, training, employment, childcare, healthcare, food assistance, transportation, and housing.
- Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee – This committee was formed to serve as a source of information related to the status, resources and services available within El Paso to the City’s large veteran population. In addition, the committee is asked to evaluate and recommend programs, policies and practices designed to alleviate veterans’ difficulties in meeting basic needs related to transportation, housing, employment and other areas affecting veterans.
- Annual Veteran City Employee Luncheon – Knowing that veterans are living and working all around us, the City of El Paso started a new tradition, a Veterans Day Luncheon for its more than 600 employees who are proud veterans. This luncheon allows City leaders to thank our veterans not only for their service to El Paso, but also for their service to our Country. It will mark its third year in November.
- Veteran Employment Incentive – In 2015, the City introduced an economic development incentive policy which includes a bonus rebate (property or sales tax) for companies that actively employ veterans (15% of their workforce) and establish a formal veteran hiring program.