Our Current State: Ending Chronic Veteran Homelessness

Ending homelessness is possible. It does not mean that no one will ever experience homelessness again. It means that when an individual or family has a housing crisis, our community has the systems and resources in place to immediately identify and support them in rapidly getting back into housing. Instances of homelessness should be rare, short-lived and non-recurring. We believe we have achieved such a state for Veterans experiencing chronic homelessness here in the Phoenix Metro Area, where:

  • Every chronically homeless veteran in our community known to the homeless services delivery system has been assessed and is connected to the appropriate housing and service resources required to end their homelessness.
  •  A robust and coordinated outreach and identification system is in place to rapidly identify and engage potentially chronically homeless veterans on the streets or in shelters in order to connect them with the appropriate housing and services resources required to end their homelessness.

How did we get here?

On October 17, 18 and 19th between 3:30AM and 8:00AM over 100 volunteers went out and interviewed individuals on the streets and determined an estimated 56 chronically homeless veterans who were street-living and 30 chronically homeless veterans in our shelter systems

Since Veteran’s Day 2013, Project H3 VETS has engaged every known chronically homeless veteran that was on our streets or in our shelter system; over 56 chronically homeless veterans that were living on the streets of Phoenix are now indoors for the Holidays.

Homelessness in not static, thus we maintain the success of moving chronically homeless veterans off the streets with our active engagement system.

  • Project H3 VETS has an active engagement system that works with community members to identify and refer chronically homeless veterans to the program, allowing us to rapidly identify, seek-out and engage this population as they appear in our shelter system or on the streets.
  • These referral sources include: the VA Hospital, CCARC/EVAC, Arizona StandDown, Blue-Prints mobile & homeless outreach program, Drug Courts Program, Police, Fire Departments, Jails, Prosecutors, Over-flow Shelters, street outreach and the Community Resource and Referral Center (CRRC).
  • Chronic Homelessness, as defined by HUD, applies to those who have a documented disabling condition and have been homeless for a year or more, or have been homeless at least four times in the past three years.
  • If you know someone who meets the above description and is a Veteran in the Phoenix Metro Area please refer them to the Community Resource and Referral Center (CRRC) at:

Community Resource & Referral Center (CRRC):
1500 E. Thomas Road, Suite 106
(located in back of building)

Open: Monday - Friday, 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM

National Homeless Call Center: (877) 424-3838

HUD-VASH walk-in hours:

T & TH 8:00AM –Noon.

Call 602-463-2432 or 602-568-7843 for more information.

If an individual is unwilling or unable to connect with the CRRC, please contact the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness at 602.340.9393

Project H3 VETS’ success in getting chronically homeless veterans off the streets of Phoenix continues to be measured and validated via our annual Point-In-Time Homeless Street Count and our annual Maricopa County StandDown (the largest singular outreach event for homeless and at-risk veterans in the country).  To date, we have housed 265 chronically homeless veterans with a greater than 90% housing retention rate.

Please find Project H3 Vets Executive Summary Tool Kit here, which includes replicable best practices for your community.

For additional information about our Project H3 Vets Peer Support Navigators, please click the links below. 

A Day in the Life of a Navigator

Navigation Services Description

Project H3: VETS History

On any given night, there are as many as 1,258 veterans experiencing homelessness living on the streets, in emergency shelters, or transitional housing programs in Arizona.  Consider the fact that over fifty percent of the homeless veteran population lives in Maricopa County, and clearly, you see a growing problem walking the Valley streets.  But there is a solution.  Project H3: VETS hopes to work towards that solution.

Project H3 VETS is a community collaboration coordinated by the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness and working in conjunction with our many different partners.  The initiative is aligned nationally with the 100,000 Homes Campaign and the VA National Homeless Veterans Outreach Campaign and on target to end chronic homelessness among veterans by February 2014.

Project H3 VETS launched during Veterans' Day week in November 2011.  Approximately 175 community volunteers and stakeholders combed valley streets and shelters and began the process of identifying and using the Vulnerability Index to survey 1,100-1,200 homeless veterans by the close of the Arizona StandDown on February 5, 2012. 

Data collected during Survey Week and thereafter is being used to target the most chronically homeless veterans who are at greatest risk of premature death on the streets with permanent housing and support services through the HUD-VASH program.  The other veterans will be targeted with additional resources that best meet their needs.  The vouchers are only a first step to a successful transition out of homelessness.  

Before Project H3 VETS, the process to house a chronically homeless veteran in the HUD-VASH program was an average of 126 days. Project H3 VETS works with community partners, navigation teams, and Local, State, and Federal agencies, utilizing the process/practices learned during Project H3 to house chronically homeless veterans in a quarter of the time.

Ending Chronic Veteran Homelessness

On Veterans Day 2013, Mayor Greg Stanton, Senator John McCain and leaders of our partner organizations announced a plan to get these 56 veterans  in doors and off the streets by the end of November 2013 and to be permanently housed by the next Arizona StandDown, February 14th 2014, bringing this population to a functional zero. 

Since the launch of Project H3 VETS in 2011 over 164 veterans experiencing chronic homelessness have been housed, with a 93% success rate for remaining housed. The most recent street survey completed in October 2013, identified the remaining 56 chronically homeless veterans on the streets of Greater Phoenix., revealing a 62% decrease in this population since the project's initiation. 

In The News

Push to end homelessness among Valley veterans – NBC 12 News

City of Phoenix works to curb homeless veteran population CBS 5 News

Phoenix set to allot $100,000 to house vets – NBC 12 NEWS

Officials: Phoenix close to eliminating chronic homelessness of vets

Eliminating Veteran Homelessness In Phoenix 

Groups Work to Bring In Valley's Homeless Veterans

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How You Can Help  

Project H3 VETS is also looking for corporate community partners and generous individuals willing to help these homeless heroes leave the streets behind. We continue to house chronically homeless veterans we find through our various outreach mechanisms (many mentioned above). Your donation can help to bring another veteran home and support them to remain stably housed.  Donate today.

What We Need To End Chronic Homelessness Among Veterans

Goal: $344,995.00
Collected: $15,244.00

Arizona Housing Coalition is a 501(c)(3) non-profit
Federal Tax ID#: 86-0909029

AZHC is also the proud home of the 
Arizona Veterans StandDown Alliance

141 E Palm Lane, Suite 105
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 340-9393


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