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Long Island Ends Chronic Veteran Homelessness

Steven Senne
Homeless Korean War veteran Thomas Moore, 79, left, in Boston in 2013.

Federal officials say Long Island has eliminated chronic homelessness among veterans. That means there is a system in place to permanently house all known and future homeless veterans.

Kevin Troope joined the Marines after high school. He served two tours in Afghanistan, and while he was overseas, his parents passed away. When he returned to Long Island, he had no place to stay, so he eventually ended up living out of his car.

“Nowhere to go, nothing to do. Nowhere to shower. Nowhere to eat…I mean, it was terrible to be homeless.”

Two years ago, First Lady Michelle Obama issued a call to action for cities, counties and states to commit to preventing homelessness among veterans.

On Friday, Long Island joined over a dozen communities and two states, including Connecticut, who have programs available to house and counsel returning veterans.  

“I wouldn’t be here without them. I’d still be living out of my car. The nightmare is over, and now I am just living the dream.”

Troope is one of 1,000 veterans housed on Long Island since 2013.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.
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