Did you know that last year, the “U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness” released a report showing that veteran homelessness had decreased almost 50% since 2010?
Below is a quick excerpt from the Veteran Affairs website
This significant progress is a result of the partnership among HUD, VA, USICH and other federal, state and local partners. These critical partnerships were sparked by the 2010 launch of Opening Doors, the first-ever strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. The initiative’s success among Veterans can also be attributed to the effectiveness of the HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, which combines HUD rental assistance with case management and clinical services provided by the VA. 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.
In 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness with the goal of accelerating progress toward the ambitious 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. To date, 27 communities and two states have effectively ended veteran homelessness, serving as models for others across the nation.
HUD and VA have a wide range of programs that prevent and end homelessness among Veterans, including health care, housing solutions, job training and education. In FY 2015, these programs helped more than 157,000 people—including 99,000 Veterans and 34,000 children—secure or remain in permanent housing. 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.
This is amazing news that for some reason hasn’t been well covered. The biggest reason for the drop, in my opinion, is the bipartisan support. Unfortunately in a day where points are gained by shouting what not to do, veteran homelessness is an exception (thank goodness). Because of the commitment by the HUD department among others. Hopefully the Trump administration can leave this initiative in place and allow it to continue its upward trajectory. No matter if you’re a fan of the Obama administration or not, this is something we can all truly be proud of.
For more information, please check out www.va.gov/homeless