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South Bend aims to eliminate homelessness for veterans

South Bend took on a big goal on Veterans Day.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced Friday he is aiming to have zero homeless veterans in the city.

Lani Vivirito and the Center for the Homeless already run the Vet Center, which provides temporary shelter for homeless vets.

However, shelters aren’t the same as eliminating homelessness.

Therefore, the challenge is about giving every veteran an address, rather than just temporary shelter. 

“We want every veteran to have a place that they live, not just a place to go,” Buttigieg said.

To do that, the Life Treatment Center, HUD and multiple other organizations are working together to keep detailed records of all community veterans who are homeless or at risk.

“There needs to be a by-name list, so we need to literally know who every homeless or at risk for homelessness veteran is,” Buttigieg said.

There’s no set deadline for this goal in particular, but Vivirito says the first step is complete, with no record of those who fought for the United States on the streets of South Bend.

“For years and years, we’ve been meeting people’s basic needs. And that is the right and the humane thing to do,” Vivirito said.

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