Homeless Vet Count: Tampa 180 - Orlando 0
By BOBBIE O'BRIEN
September 23, 2016
It was six years ago when President Barack Obama vowed to end homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015. Nearly a year later, that hasn't happened.
But there have been successes. Two states, Virginia and Connecticut, and dozens of cities like Orlando are considered to be at “functional zero” having ended chronic homelessness among veterans. That means homeless veterans have an immediate system of housing and services at their disposal.
Bob McDonald, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, visited Florida this week to congratulate Orlando on their success and to help push Tampa to that final goal of no veterans living on the streets.
McDonald got a personal tour of Bernie Godette’s one-bedroom, fully furnished apartment at Haley Park Apartments in Tampa. After six years of being homeless, he delights in having a home with features like an icemaker and clothes washer and dryer.
“It ain’t always been this way,” Godette told McDonald. “I’ve been sleeping in tents, in the woods, in my car, sleeping at bus stations, sleeping in homeless shelters, sleeping in missions. So, God has really blessed me.”
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