LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) – In his State of the Commonwealth address, Governor Terry McAuliffe repeated Virginia was the first state to “functionally end veteran homelessness”. McAuliffe did not define “functionally end” in Wednesday’s address.
The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Veterans Affairs certified Virginia as the first state in the nation to functionally end veteran homelessness in 2015. To receive the designation a community or state must identify all veterans experiencing homelessness and provide shelter to any homeless veteran who wants it.
WSLS 10 took the claim to a man who works with the homeless and a formerly homeless veteran, who both say veteran homeless numbers can’t accurately be measured.
Army veteran Gerald King’s living room is decorated with his college graduation tassels. He worked to earn his machine, tool and quality degree at Central Virginia Community College while he was homeless.
King believes the state has not identified all homeless veterans or offered them a place to live, which are both requirements to receive the federal designation.