Pittsburgh and Allegheny County ‘effectively’ end veterans homelessness

By: Kate Giammarise, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Published: November 22, 2017

By helping to house more than 500 homeless veterans since 2014, Pittsburgh and Allegheny County have “effectively” ended veteran homelessness, officials declared Tuesday.

The designation, announced by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator Joe DeFelice, means that infrastructure and programs are in place to rapidly and permanently house any homeless veteran.

“Our work’s not done,” Mayor Peduto said.

While not denying they would have to continue to work to house others, Mr. Fitzgerald said, “there’s systems in place to end it within 90 days, so I think, effectively, we’ve solved the issue.”

“These programs, collectively, saved my life,” said Kelly Ferri, an Army veteran who lives in Sharpsburg and who spoke at a news conference Tuesday morning with her daughter standing beside her.

Across the county, 55 other states, cities and counties have also met this goal, including Philadelphia, Scranton/Lackawanna County, Lancaster City and County, and Reading/Berks County. Mr. DeFelice, who is based in Philadelphia, jokingly waved a Terrible Towel in saluting Pittsburgh’s accomplishment.

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