EAST GARFIELD PARK — By the end of next year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel hopes to have all homeless veterans off the city streets.
"No one who has who fought to defend their country should struggle to find a home," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday while announcing a $5 million program that will provide "subsidized housing, supportive services and other forms of assistance for homeless veterans."
"By the end of 2015, there will not be a homeless veteran in the City of Chicago," Emanuel said during a news conference at Home Manor, a facility for about 80 veterans in East Garfield Park. "We will finish the job and make sure that every veteran has a roof over their head."
An informal census conducted in January found there were more than 700 homeless veterans in the city.
According to the mayor, a new Hope Manor II will open in Englewood in two weeks and welcome veterans and their families.
According to the Mayor's Press Office, the federal government has committed to paying more than 80 percent of the $5 million annual cost of the program, with the city to budget $800,000 for it and "close the gap on the remaining funding" for 2015. The federal Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Housing and Urban Development will join with the Chicago Housing Authority, the city Department of Family and Support Services and other government agencies to advance the program.
Emanuel said it was the start of a seven-year program to remove the homeless entirely from the streets, beginning with veterans.
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