On Wednesday, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the state had reached a groundbreaking milestone: it effectively ended homelessness among military veterans.

The state, which reportedly helped 1,432 homeless veterans in the past year, has been officially certified by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as the first state to have achieved the distinction.

The Washington Post reports:

The federal homelessness designation means Virginia has no homeless veterans with the exception of those who have been offered housing but do not want it. The state must find a home for a veteran within 90 days and have more homes available than the number of veterans who have been identified as having no place to live.

Three cities—Las Vegas, and Syracuse and Schenectady in New York—also have met the criteria for claiming an end [to] veteran homelessness in their cities, according to a White House statement. But Virginia is the first state to do so.

These efforts were part of a White House pledge, also achieved by New Orleans, Houston, and Las Cruces, New Mexico. More than 20 mayors signed onto the pledge, so more announcements of this kind should be forthcoming by the end of the year.

“Folks, there is a reason why we are the greatest state in America,” McAuliffe said in remarks at a veterans memorial. “We are because we take care of our veterans.”


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