St. Louis County leaders declare effective end to veteran homelessness

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 9:47 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3 Duluth) - St. Louis county leaders declared the effective end to veteran homelessness Thursday.

“The mantra that all of us served in uniform is ‘We leave no warrior behind on the battlefield.’ That continues to being at home,” said Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN).

Walz called on county leadership statewide to eliminate veterans’ homelessness a few years ago.

Thursday, he was in St. Louis County to celebrate that accomplishment.

“We are here. We have gotten to the point where we can declare that we have effectively ended veteran’s homelessness in St. Louis County,” said St. Louis County Continuum of Care Coordinator Courtney Cochran.

This doesn’t mean a veteran in the county will never be homeless again. Rather, it indicates that there are enough preventative measures in place to ensure any period of homelessness will be rare, brief, and non-recurring.

St. Louis County leaders said it took them years to get to this point because they took a different approach than other counties.

“Not all veterans are on the veteran’s registry,” said Cochran. “So, we zoomed it out and did everything we could to identify all veterans and to build really deep relationships in the process.”

Now, 85 of 87 counties have achieved the goal, putting Minnesota on track to become the 4th state to end veteran homelessness.

Walz said he hopes this program can be applied to address homelessness in general.

“There is a model there, that is replicable when we partner together to make that happen,” he said.

If you or a veteran you know is struggling, there are many resources in place to help like the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans or the St. Louis County Veterans Office.

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