According to Matthew Doherty, the Executive Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, veteran homelessness has been ‘effectively ended’ in the cities of Biloxi and Gulfport! Not every instance of veteran homelessness can be prevented, but the Mississippi Gulf Coast has the systems in place to make sure that veterans can get the help they need. According to Mary Simons, Executive Director of the Open Doors Homeless Coalition, the resources that the Gulf Coast has will ensure that “any bout of homelessness is rare, brief and nonrecurring.”
Back Bay Mission has been a key partner in ending veteran homelessness on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In 2014, we opened the first phase of our HomePort program, which provides permanent supportive housing to veterans who are disabled and chronically homeless. In 2015, we opened the second phase of that program, bringing our total number of supportive housing units for veterans to eight. Today, HomePort is administered by the Gulf Coast Housing Initiative, a daughter agency of Back Bay Mission.
There is still work to be done, however. There are veterans who continue to live in poverty in Biloxi and Gulfport. Thanks to our Veterans Support Fund, Back Bay Mission can offer additional services to veterans in need through any of our programs.
HomePort and the Veterans Support Fund exist thanks to the hard work and generosity of hundreds of volunteers, donors, and partners. Thank you all for what you’ve done to effectively end veteran homelessness on the Mississippi Gulf Coast!