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PHOENIX -- The city of Phoenix received the inaugural National Award of Distinction from a Navy organization Wednesday, for becoming the nation's first large city to end chronic veterans' homelessness.

"It took a lot of effort and time and dedication to developing the program and putting it into practice," said Charles Bradley, president of the Association of the U.S. Navy. He added that Mayor Greg Stanton took ownership of a problem that is often ignored and that the city is the model for other cities.

"A lot of cities are taking the model Mayor Stanton developed and taking action to match Phoenix," Bradley said. Phoenix achieved its goal in mid-Deecmber.

Salt Lake City is the only other major U.S. city to claim it has ended chronic homelessness among veterans. Bradley said San Diego has made great progress.

Jim Cross, Reporter

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