The city of Kokomo has received a designation that few cities in the U.S. can claim; free from homelessness among military veterans.
A coalition of federal agencies comprised of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Department of Veterans Affairs notified the city of the distinction.
“On behalf of USICH and our federal partners, we recognize and appreciate your extraordinary team and look forward to continuing our collaboration as we work to end homelessness for all Americans,” said Anthony Love, Interim Executive Director for the USICH.
Kokomo is a member of Region 5 of the Indiana Balance of State Continuum of Care. The Region 5 council consists of a variety of organizations fighting homelessness in Cass, Miami, Wabash, Howard, and Tipton counties.
Mayor Tyler Moore stated, “The City of Kokomo could not be more proud of the efforts of so many agencies working together to achieve this incredible status and recognition,” said Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore. “Our local veterans deserve as much as we can give them, and so knowing that Kokomo and Howard County have succeeded in providing the most basic necessity that many of our homeless Veterans need is very exciting.”
The USICH says to be recognized for the achievement, communities must meet the federal criteria and benchmarks for ending homelessness among veterans.
The goal is to get homelessness to as close to zero as possible, while also building systems that support long-term, lasting solutions.
USICH says former Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight originally signed on to the Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran homelessness and Mayor Moore renewed that effort in 2020. Since its launch in 2014, approximately 80 communities across the country have achieved this goal. Region 5 is the first community in Indiana to receive this distinction.
While Kokomo reached its goal, the national problem of homelessness remains. A recent study conducted by HUD shows the overall number of homeless last year climbed 2.2% from 2019. Click here to view the report.