Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild announced the city will work with non-profit organizations, private companies and ask for help from the public to accomplish the goal of ending veterans' homelessness by 2015.
Tucson is one of two dozen cities the president has identified to accomplish this goal, Rothschild said.
The goal will require more than just providing homes for veterans in need, he said. It will take resources to identify those veterans, provide furnishings and support services such as job training or health care treatment once they are in stable housing.
“Part of what this goal is to do is to increase the infrastructure for all the homeless of the community. When we support Primavera, the Salvation Army, Red Cross, CODAC, COPE, there are going to be others in the homeless community that are going to be supported," Rothschild said.
The Tucson Housing and Community Development Department has estimated there are about 350 homeless veterans, but that the number will rise as troops leave Afghanistan, said department Director Andrea Ibanez.
Tucson is already doing better than other cities, Rothchild said. In the last two years the number of homeless veterans has gone from 500 to 350, he said. That's one of the reasons the mayor said President Barack Obama chose Tucson as a model for the rest of the country.