New Initiative to End Veteran Homelessness

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(Photo by the office of Joshua Lafazan)

Local officials came together last week to announce a plan to combat veteran homelessness across Nassau County.

Legislator Joshua Lafazan filed a pair of bills, creating the “Dignity for our Heroes” initiative. The bills will address the situation specifically regarding Nassau County, where about 5,000 veterans are homeless, about to become homeless or having housing insecurity issues.

“I stand here in solidarity with veterans from across Nassau County in declaring a new day for our county’s commitment to the men and women who have served this nation in uniform,” Lafazan said during a press conference. “This should be a shock to the conscience of every resident in this county. That is why I filed two bills aimed at eradicating veteran homelessness in Nassau County.”

This initiative will lead the county to create the Nassau Commission on Ending Veteran Homelessness, “which would be tasked with completing a detailed study of veteran homelessness and offering recommendations toward the establishment of a future transitional housing facility in the county.”

Additionally, the Human Rights Law in Nassau County will receive a fresh revision, banning anti-veteran discrimination in the real estate market across the area.

“No person who puts their life on the line to protect our freedom should be denied housing, then have to spend the night under a train overpass. It’s important that we let those who served our country know that we are thankful for their service,” County Executive Laura Curran said. “It’s even more important that we demonstrate our gratitude to them through action. We have a moral and patriotic duty to meet this challenge, and I look forward to engaging the Commission and reviewing their report so that our County, and our Veterans Service Agency can more effectively address the needs of veterans, including transitional housing.”

The commission will have a 12-member panel, including department heads from the county, social service groups and veteran/homeless advocates. Kyle Rose-Lauder, a representative of the Nassau County Veterans Service Agency and Deputy County Executive for Health and Human Services, will co-chair the commission.

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