Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to end homelessness in Chicago, and he's focusing first on providing help to military veterans who need it.
The mayor on Tuesday announced a new, $5 million partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Chicago Housing Authority, and a goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. Most of the funding will come from the federal government. The 2015 city budget will also include an additional $800,000 investment, he said.
"It's wonderful we are helping our veterans who have sacrificed so much for us," Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) said at the announcement that sounded much like a campaign stop for the mayor ahead of February's election. "I don't think anyone else can do the leveraging he does."
The plan calls for the city to donate four acres of land and expand social services programs.
Veteran Tamara Cook was on hand at the announcement and said such programs helped her gain housing and helped her earn a degree from DePaul University. She now works as a peer support specialist.
Emanuel said he plans to cut the ribbon in a couple of weeks on a new Hope Manor for Families that he said will "be unique in the country."