Homeless veterans given free apartments as part of government program

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"This works," said Esa Murray, who lies on a mattress in his new apartment in the 3100 block of Cherokee Street on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Murray, a veteran of the Iraq War, was among dozens of homeless veterans that were placed into individual apartments as part of Operation: REVEILLE. Murray has been homeless on and off for the last four years. (Photo by Laurie Skrivan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“This works,” said Esa Murray, who lies on a mattress in his new apartment in the 3100 block of Cherokee Street on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Murray, a veteran of the Iraq War, was among dozens of homeless veterans that were placed into individual apartments as part of Operation: REVEILLE. Murray has been homeless on and off for the last four years. (Photo by Laurie Skrivan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

ST. LOUIS (AP) – One year after 51 homeless veterans were given free housing for up to a year, the program has offered a glimpse into the challenges and successes of the homeless eradication model called “rapid rehousing.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the program was managed by a local nonprofit but funded with federal housing dollars running through St. Louis’ human services department.

A case manager of the $530,000 program says the biggest challenge was gaining the veterans’ trust.

Fourteen of the participants are living independently in their own apartments, and many of them have jobs.

Twenty-three have transferred to a housing voucher program, while five others have moved out of town. Three qualified for other housing assistance, four died and two others were put in nursing homes.
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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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