Lexington says it's the first city in Kentucky to end veteran homelessness

Published: Apr. 25, 2019 at 3:29 PM EDT
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Lexington has been recognized as the first city in the Commonwealth to end veteran homelessness. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and city officials announced the achievement Thursday.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any homeless veterans living in the city. Mayor Linda Gorton announced today that there are still 78 homeless veterans living in shelters or transitional houses throughout the city. None of those veterans were living outdoors or unsheltered in 2019.

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs said in March that the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government had a system that would make veteran homelessness “rare, brief and non-reoccuring.”

Lexington is the 72nd city in the country to receive this verification.

The announcement comes about five years after then-Mayor Jim Gray pledged to end veteran homelessness in 2014.

Gorton said that she is focused on helping this community, but she also said this fight is personal.

“My husband is retired Army and Army Reserve. He served 39 and a half years, and I’m a military mom. My son is active duty Army and my son-in-law is active duty Air Force,” Gorton said.

She says that’s why the city has long been partnering with different government agencies, offering different programs to help the city’s homeless veterans and make veteran homelessness as rare as possible.

Gerald Tubbs Jr. says he is proof those programs work.

Once a homeless veteran, Tubbs is now hoping to help others in the same ways he says the city had aided him in his time of need.

"I’m really hoping that I can give hope to other people, because you can be successful and if you find the right people, they have good hearts, and they will help you get to where you need to be,” Tubbs said.