Page 10 - The Heights of Jupiter - February '19
P. 10

Page 10, North Palm Beach Heights
      Commissioner’s Update

      Serving Those Who Sacrificed                       County. Functional Zero is a coordinated and efficient   program offered in the county is S.M.A.R.T. Landlord,
                                                         community system designed to ensure that homelessness is
                                                                                                           which recruits property owners to make efficiencies, studios
      For Us                                             rare, brief and nonrecurring, and will require an organized   and multiple bedroom units renting at or below Fair Market
                                                         approach of resources and programs. The goal of the   Value available to extremely low-income families and
      By Commissioner                                    campaign is to serve 100 veterans in 111 days.    individuals. Participating in the program with homeless
      Hal Valeche                                          Currently, Palm Beach County  Veterans Services   service providers offers the following benefits:
        It is an honor to call                           assist veterans in the areas of compensation and pensions,     • Support – Landlords support the community by offering
      myself a military veteran,                         medical care, aid and attendant services, burial benefits,   housing at fair market value.
      having served as a Navy                            and documentation relating to homestead exemptions and     • Marketing – Landlords save costs on marketing and
      fighter pilot in the Vietnam                       income verification. This includes efforts to draw down $4.5   advertising since there is a list of clients ready to move in.
      War.  My  service  required                        million in annual benefits for veterans.            • Assistance – Every tenant has a case manager who
      taking great risks and                               The rising cost of housing and the expiration of   provides help to the client and is the landlord’s immediate
      executing dangerous                                affordability restrictions on existing affordable housing is   point of contact.
      missions; however, I know                          playing a huge role in the increase of homeless veterans.     •  Rent – Landlords receive timely rent payments
      that troops serving in                             Palm  Beach  County  recently  approved  HUD  funding   facilitated by the organization placing the tenant.
      ground combat experience                           and impact fee credits to leverage private and nonprofit     • Tenant – Landlords always have a tenant and this
      a very different level of stress and uncertainty. Sadly,   investments for the construction of Village of Valor, a 148-  reduces vacancies.
      yet understandably, many combat veterans suffer severe   unit rental development in Lake Worth. The Faith Hope Love     Additionally, the county plans to invest a portion of
      emotional scars that contribute to struggles with addiction,   Charity veteran organization is spearheading the project,   infrastructure sales tax dollars to retrofit surplus county
      mental illness, or homelessness.                   where units will be available to very low to moderate-  properties into permanent supportive cottages for families.
        The most recent manual count of homeless in Palm Beach   income persons with a priority given to veterans and their     For more information on homeless and veterans services
      County revealed a significant increase in homeless veterans.   families, including the disabled, homeless, and those at-risk   in Palm Beach County visit
      At least 50 percent of those veterans counted are over the   of homelessness.                        communityservices/humanservices and as always, if there
      age of 50, served in Vietnam, and have medical needs. I     Solutions require an ongoing partnership with government,   is any way that my office can assist you, please contact me
      am working with County Human Resources and Veterans   service provider agencies and private industry. Another   at (561) 355-2201 or by email at
      Services staff, along with our community service providers
      and the local Veterans Administration Medical Center in
      Riviera Beach (VA) to enhance our services to veterans and   Northern Notes from page 9                This information was produced by the Florida Fish
      place them in housing.                                                                               and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the
        The housing authorities in this county work with the   medium-sized predator is extremely adaptable, thriving   University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural
      VA to secure Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH)   in urban, suburban and rural areas.        Sciences (UF/IFAS) for the people of the state of Florida
      vouchers from the Department of Housing and Urban   Coyotes Need Our Help To Survive: False!         and reproduced with permission.
      Development (HUD), which currently help house more     People like to feed animals. However, by providing a     NPDES Tip: Please pick up after your pet. When pet
      than 450 local veterans and their families. HUD will not   “free lunch” for coyotes, you eliminate their natural fear   waste is washed into lakes or canals the waste decays,
      release more vouchers without adequate social workers on   of humans and increase their populations. Remember …   using up oxygen and sometimes releasing ammonia.
      staff with the VA to handle the cases. The Board of County   a fed coyote causes problems. Keep them wild!   Low oxygen levels and ammonia combined with warm
      Commissioners urged our U.S. Senators to support federal   Coyotes Can Be Totally Eliminated: False!  temperatures can kill fish. Pet waste also contains
      legislation to increase VA staffing and make more VASH     Removing coyotes is an inefficient and ineffective   nutrients that encourage weed and algae growth. Overly
      vouchers available to our veterans, prompting the filing of   method to control populations. They compensate by   fertile water becomes cloudy and green – unattractive
      Senate Bill S. 2750.                                increasing litter size and new coyotes move into areas   for boating and fishing. Perhaps most importantly, pet
        On Jan. 3, the County Commission along with the   where others have been removed. Populations can   waste carries diseases which make water unsafe.
      Homeless and Housing Alliance kicked off our Functional   quickly return to original size.
      Zero campaign to end veteran homelessness in Palm Beach

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