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Official: Phoenix leads way on helping homeless veterans

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan speaks about Phoenix's homeless veteran population. (KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)

PHOENIX -- Phoenix stands out from other cities and is leading the way nationally on President Barack Obama's goal of ending veterans homelessness by 2015, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said.

"In just the past year, Phoenix has made enormous progress and has potentially cut the number of homeless veterans in half," he said.

Donovan said it's a national tragedy that veterans are 50 percent more likely to be homeless than the average American and yet most Americans don't realize that.

"Most Americans also don't realize that while it's expensive to house someone, it is more expensive for someone to be homeless when you consider homeless shelters, treating medical problems in emergency rooms. This goes beyond saving lives it's about saving costs when government resources are very limited and we want to protect taxpayers."

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite food: Steak and shrimp, and any food on campouts.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Favorite news memory: The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. The 2007 Southern California Firestorm and being at Sky Harbor Airport when the first plane lifted off several days after 9-11. Seeing the American flag on the tail of the Salt Lake City-bound Delta airliner as it took off still gives me goosebumps.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges -- which was outstanding --, Lonesome Dove.

First job: Spinning records at KLER Radio Orofino, Idaho 1980.

First concert: KISS/Cheap Trick 1977 Spokane, WA Coliseum.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, The University of Montana Grizzlies and Texas Rangers.

Outside interests: Sports, camping, fishing, traveling.

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