Las Vegas has homeless veterans covered

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Joan Donegan, holds up photos of her younger brother, Vietnam veteran Kenneth J. Sipich, at her Las Vegas home Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. Donegan is helping her homeless brother find stability and housing with assistance from Veterans Affairs and other veterans organizations. Martin S. Fuentes/Las Vegas Review-Journal

As federal and local officials prepared to celebrate the Las Vegas valley having enough resources to house every homeless veteran, a woman struggled to find permanent housing for her brother — a Vietnam War veteran — on Tuesday.

Joan Donegan, 77, spent the last two weeks fruitlessly searching for housing services available for homeless veterans. Her brother Kenneth J. Sipich, 67, who was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, suffers from bipolar disorder.

Sipich is currently renting a room from a nephew who is moving to Colorado next month. Donegan said she can’t take in her brother because it would be difficult, given his mental illness, and she doesn’t want him to end up in the streets.

“The information that I got didn’t lead me to any help,” she said Tuesday. “It just sort of feels like a dead end. I would like to see that they are helping by responding.”

Meanwhile, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro is scheduled to join local leaders at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Smith Center for Performing Arts to applaud the valley for having met the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.

In 2010, President Barack Obama also launched Opening Doors, an ambitious federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness by the end of this year. During a recent media conference call, however, Castro acknowledged that the aggressive goal is not going to be met nationally.

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