Mick Wiener Underscores Grave Issue of Homelessness Among Veterans

Mick Wiener weighs in on the efforts to eliminate chronic veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.

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Orlando, FL (PRWEB) June 17, 2013

When it comes to homelessness, Mick Wiener is well versed on the subject. He has worked extensively with homeless outreach programs in Florida in an effort to curb homelessness. A recent article on The Washington Post reveals that homelessness among veterans is still a pressing issue.

The Obama administration set a lofty goal of eliminating homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015. Shaun Donovan, Housing and Urban Development Secretary, acknowledged that the numbers are declining, but not fast enough. At the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans annual conference, it was announced that “HUD will provide $60 million for 9,000 new vouchers providing permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless veterans.” Statistics show that as of January 2012, there were still approximately 60,000 homeless veterans. This is, however, a 17.2 percent decrease since January 2009.

Donovan points out that only about 1,000 days remain until the end of 2015, the target date for eliminating chronic veteran homelessness. This goal was set back in 2009. There is still a long way to go, and according to Donovan, it is going to take some creativity to make it happen. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki told attendees at the conference that “in this final push, we need all hands pulling on the rope.” The conference was attended by hundreds of workers from around the country who are all working together in an effort to end homelessness.

If progress continues at the same rate from the past few years, it is not enough to reach the goal by 2015 according to Donovan. HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program (HUD-VASH) has stepped up to provide support. It has issued more than 48,000 vouchers since 2008, providing homes to more than 42,000 previously homeless veterans. However, with government budget cuts last year, some local authorities have declined the vouchers. They can no longer afford the costs of participating in the program. This trend concerns Donovan, as it affects the ability to get the vouchers to veterans in need. If more public housing authorities turn down the vouchers, he says that “HUD will reallocate the vouchers to other communities. We won’t let them go unused.”

Retired Captain Mick Wiener has a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with homelessness and displaced veterans. “I believe that homelessness amongst veterans is still a significant problem,” he states. “It needs to be addressed from the highest levels of the federal government.” Wiener himself has made an effort to reduce homelessness in his local Florida community. He initiated a homeless outreach and assistance program to deal with chronic and crisis homelessness.

Specially trained deputies worked with social workers to provide short and long term housing placements for the homeless. They were trained to identify those in need of educational programs, substance abuse programs, housing, and other assistance. Rather than turning to incarceration as the answer, officers provided necessary outreach and assistance. Thanks to Mick Wiener’s efforts, the homeless were receiving real solutions to help them with their problems and help them to get off the streets.

ABOUT:

Mick Wiener has worked in law enforcement for more than 25 years. He has attended many advanced training courses and has provided training to others. He has served in many capacities on various police forces, ranging from road patrol to captain to district area commander.


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