Veteran homelessness drops nearly 50 percent since 2010

| August 12, 2016 | 0 Comments
Soldiers with the 8th TSC, TAMC and the 25th ID unload appliances from a church in Ewa Beach to an emergency bed house that will eventually shelter as many as 20 homeless veterans at a time during the “Soldier for Life” Veteran’s Outreach Program, Tuesday. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Gaelen Lowers, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs)

Soldiers with the 8th TSC, TAMC and the 25th ID unload appliances from a church in Ewa Beach to an emergency bed house that will eventually shelter as many as 20 homeless veterans at a time, Aug. 5, 2015. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Gaelen Lowers, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs)

The White House
News Release

WASHINGTON — The Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs departments and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness announced, Aug. 2, that the number of veterans experiencing homelessness in the United States has been cut nearly in half since 2010.

White House officials said data shows a 17 percent decrease in veteran homelessness between January 2015 and January 2016 – quadruple the previous year’s annual decline – and a 47 percent decrease since 2010.

Through HUD’s annual point-in-yime estimate of America’s homeless population, communities across the country have reported that fewer than 40,000 veterans were experiencing homelessness on a given night in January 2016, officials said.

The January 2016 estimate found slightly more than 13,000 unsheltered homeless veterans living on their streets, a 56 percent decrease since 2010.

Sgt. 1st Class Brian Carter (center), an intelligence analyst with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, hands out drinks to the homeless as his daughter Kelsi and son KeAndre (right) help fill more cups during a family service project at the Kaka‘ako Makai Gateway Park, Jan. 5.

Sgt. 1st Class Brian Carter (center), an intelligence analyst with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, hands out drinks to the homeless as his daughter Kelsi and son KeAndre (right) help fill more cups during a family service project at the Kaka‘ako Makai Gateway Park, Jan. 5, 2014. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle Richardson, U.S.Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

 

Partnerships produced results

This progress is a result of partnerships among HUD, VA, USICH and other federal, state and local partners. These partnerships were sparked by the 2010 launch of Opening Doors, the first strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, officials said.

The initiative’s success among veterans can also be attributed to the effectiveness of the HUD-VA Supportive Housing program, which combines HUD rental assistance with case management and clinical services provided by the VA, officials added.

Since 2008, more than 85,000 vouchers have been awarded and more than 114,000 homeless veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program.

“We have an absolute duty to ensure those who’ve worn our nation’s uniform have a place to call home,” HUD Secretary Julian Castro said. “While we’ve made remarkable progress toward ending veteran homelessness, we still have work to do to make certain we answer the call of our veterans, just as they answered the call of our nation.”

“The dramatic decline in veteran homelessness reflects the power of partnerships in solving complex national problems on behalf of those who have served our nation,” VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald said. “The men and women who have fought for this nation should not have to fight to keep a roof over their head, and I’m pleased that VA is serving more veterans than ever before with heath care, education, job training and wraparound supportive services. While this is very real progress, that means tens of thousands more veterans have a place to call home. We will not rest until every veteran in need is permanently housed.”

“Together, we are proving that it is possible to solve one of the most complex challenges our country faces,” said Matthew Doherty, the executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. “This progress should give us confidence that when we find new ways to work together and when we set bold goals and hold ourselves accountable, nothing is unsolvable.”

Homeless veterans receive haircuts at the first-ever Honolulu Stand Down at Ala Moana Beach Park, Sept. 7. Stand Down is an event for homeless veterans that — along with providing clothes, food, haircuts and health screenings — helps the veterans receive information on VA benefits, jobs and housing.

Homeless veterans receive haircuts at the first-ever Honolulu Stand Down at Ala Moana Beach Park, Sept. 7, 2011. Stand Down is an event for homeless veterans that — along with providing clothes, food, haircuts and health screenings — helps the veterans receive information on VA benefits, jobs and housing. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Jackson, 18th MEDCOM (DS) Public Affairs)

Accelerating progress

In 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness with the goal of accelerating progress toward the national goal of ending veteran homelessness. More than 880 mayors, governors and other local officials have joined the challenge and committed to ending veteran homelessness in their communities, White House officials said.

To date, 27 communities and two states have effectively ended veteran homelessness, serving as models for others across the nation.

HUD and VA administer a wide range of programs that prevent and end homelessness among veterans, including programs that provide health care, housing solutions, job training and education.

In fiscal year 2015, these programs helped more than 157,000 people – including 99,000 veterans and 34,000 children – secure or remain in permanent housing, officials said. Since 2010, more than 360,000 veterans and their families have been permanently housed, rapidly rehoused or prevented from becoming homeless through programs administered by HUD and VA.

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Category: News, Veterans

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