After achieving functional zero for homeless veterans, efforts now moving to chronic homelessness

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ABILENE, Texas (KRBC)- Abilene was the ninth city in the nation to achieve functional zero for veteran homelessness.

“Right now our functional zero number for veterans is eight,” said John Meier, West Central Texas Regional Foundation Supportive Services for Veterans Family.

This means they can receive and house eight veterans a month but The West Texas Homeless Network is not stopping there.

“We feel it is our duty that we are going to provide housing and help them maintain their housing. We don’t just house people and leave them out there,” said Katherine Bisson, West Texas Homeless Network Chair.

They will continue to house veterans while starting the next campaign to achieve functional zero for chronic homelessness.

“The person would have a disability, rather that’s mental or physical health disability and then secondly they would have a length of time of being homeless. Twelve months consecutive or 12 months over the last three years essentially,” said Bisson.

The different groups having to work together makes the process more difficult to identify.

“There is more involved in it because you have to verify those disabilities. You have to verify those links of homelessness so you have to have other agencies,” said Meier.

That’s why The West Texas Homeless Network is succeeding in Abilene.

“No one agency or person wants to take all the credit. They just want at the end of the day to address homelessness in our community. So we are able to all come together and make our systems work,” said Bisson.

Their goal is to hit functioning zero for chronic homelessness by the end of the year.

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