Veteran homelessness drops sharply

Matt Saintsing
November 01, 2018 - 1:52 pm

Tamara Bauer | Dreamstime.com

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The overall number of homeless veterans cut down by 5 percent this year due to a concerted effort to bring those numbers down, according to data released by the departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development.

In all, some 38,000 veterans nationwide experience homelessness, according to a one-night “Point-in-Time” estimate, down from about 40,000 from last year. But that figure had dramatically decreased since 2010 when around 76,000 veterans were homeless.

“The reduction in homelessness among veterans announced today shows that the strategies we are using to help the most vulnerable veterans become stably housed are working,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This is good news for all Veterans.”

The decline is sharpest among women veterans who, according to HUD, experienced a 10 percent drop in homelessness.

Screen Grab Courtesy of HUD

“We’ve made great strides in our efforts to end veteran homelessness, but we still have a lot of work to do to ensure those who wore our nation’s uniform have access to stable housing,” adds HUD Secretary Ben Carson.

Advocates cite a network that laces together different echelons of government as a reason for the drop.

“Working together at the federal, state and local level, we can and will continue to make progress until all Americans have a stable home from which they can pursue opportunity,” said Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

HUD credits the progress due to the Supportive Housing Program it has with VA, which pools together HUD’s permanent rental assistance with VA’s clinical services.

According to HUD, 64 localities and three states have declared “an effective” end to homelessness among vets.

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