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All Washtenaw County wants for Christmas is apartments for homeless veterans

Money awarded to help homeless veterans.
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Money awarded to help homeless veterans.

Like many of us, the folks at Washtenaw County have something on their Christmas wish list: 17 apartments to house 17 homeless veterans.

Andrea Plevek is with the county's Office of Community and Economic Development.

If she were writing a letter to Santa, "I think that we would ask Santa Claus to open the hearts and minds of the landlord community here in Washtenaw County," says Plevek.

The county hopes to reach its goal of zero homeless veterans by the end of 2015, but Plevek says the county can't do it alone.

"We know that the rental market here is hot," says Plevek. "Landlords have very few vacancies, and when they do, there's typically a line of folks waiting to get in. And this is a challenging group of individuals; they have lots of challenges, lots of barriers."

But Plevek says helping veterans find a place to call home is one of the best ways to honor their service to their county.

Washtenaw County is also on track to meet its 2016 goal: zero chronically homeless individuals.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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