Inside North Dakota’s Fight To End Veteran Homelessness

In 2009, a promise was made in the state of North Dakota to end veteran homeless. Nearly 13 years later, the goal has nearly been reached, as the Fargo Veterans Affairs Health Care System is close to declaring an end to the issue through the U.S Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Diana Hall, who is the manager of the housing sector of the Fargo VA, states that they are “right on the verge of being able to declare functional zero homelessness for veterans. We’re not quite there yet. We have a couple more veterans that we have to get housed, but we’re close,”. She also added that while homelessness can never be entirely eradicated going forward, that ending its current state while placing the proper resources in the community to prevent it from happening as much as possible is a good indicator of success in their goals. 

Hall stated that the primary catalyst for the Fargo VA’s success in its goal to end veteran homelessness to this point has been its decision to partner with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which helped them form a plan to subsidize rentals have 30% covered by the veteran, and 70% covered by the VA. In addition, the VA has committed to serving as a support system for veterans in the process of them finding their homes. 

North Dakota is likely to become the 4th state nationwide to end veteran homelessness, after Virginia, Connecticut and Delaware. Veteran homelessness is a significant problem across the nation and has been across North Dakota. It is an important issue to tackle, as homelessness is a foundation for other problems that veterans face such as mental health concerns and lower mortality. What is being done in North Dakota is an encouraging sign and a step in the right direction to help tackle these issues.