Combatting Veteran Homelessness

Women smiling for a picture.

The Manhattan Outreach Consortium (MOC), led by Goddard Riverside, began a Veterans Initiative in October 2011, in an effort to house veterans that have made the Manhattan streets their homes for many years. With funding from the Robin Hood Foundation and the NYC Department of Homeless Services, MOC has been able to strengthen partnerships with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and various community agencies, to identify veterans who would otherwise not be engaged through typical outreach efforts.

The Veterans Initiative has been quite successful, reaching many veterans who would not have sought help on their own. Many veterans are struggling with mental illness and substance use, and are unaware of services available to them. Others are wary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or overwhelmed by the lengthy process of getting off the streets and obtaining an apartment. MOC’s street outreach teams have engaged hundreds of veterans, walking them through the challenging procedures. The services provided aren’t limited to just housing. The teams also connect veterans with entitlement benefits, health care, mental health and substance use treatment. MOC’s Veterans Initiative is open to all veterans living on the street, regardless of discharge status or length of time served.

To date, MOC has helped 149 veterans off of the streets and 106 have already obtained permanent housing.

No one should have to live on the streets, especially those that served their country. This Veterans Day, MOC is proud to have helped these 149 veterans get off the streets of Manhattan and will continue the fight to end veteran homelessness.

-Christina Narine
Program Director, Uptown Goddard