Event aims to get homeless vets back on right track - FOX 13 News

Event aims to get homeless vets back on right track

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

It's a one-stop shop for homeless veterans in Tampa.

Today until 8 p.m. at Lykes Gaslight Park, Tampa Police Department and Hillsbrough County Sheriff's Office homeless liaison, The Homeless Coalition of Hillsbrough County, along with the Department of Veterans Affairs, are working to help homeless veterans get off the streets.

TPD Officer Dan McDonald and Deputy Steven Donaldson have been working to identify homeless veterans and will provide many of them with a ride to the event.  

VA counselors will then help qualified veterans fill out a housing voucher application, organize their military paperwork, assess their needs for mental health and substance abuse counseling and other services.

The goal is to provide a path toward permanent housing and end the cycle of chronic homelessness for those who have served our country.

While this event focuses on homeless veterans, the organizers are also reaching out to the chronic homeless living on Tampa streets.

The Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County conducted a survey several months ago and found there were 2,275 homeless people living in the county. That's a 47 percent decline from 2011.

The decrease is attributed to new programs, improving economy, and the refusal of numerous homeless people to participate in the lengthy survey.

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