Homelessness disproportionately impacts veterans, however the Division of Veterans Affairs introduced Wednesday that quite a lot of efforts to assist veterans discover housing has resulted within the charge dropping 11% up to now three years nationwide and greater than 50% since 2010.
Further cash from Congress and a strengthened technique between the VA and the Division of Housing and City Growth has helped to carry homelessness charges down, VA officers mentioned in a convention name.
“There are literally thousands of previously homeless Veterans who’re going to sleep tonight in good, protected, secure houses – and there’s nothing extra vital than that,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough mentioned in a press launch.
Texas and California have the 2 largest veteran populations within the nation. In response to the Nationwide Alliance to Finish Homelessness, the variety of homeless Texas veterans dropped from 5,527 in 2007 to 1,948 in 2020, a 65% lower.
“That is nice progress, nevertheless it’s only the start,” McDonough mentioned. “We at VA is not going to relaxation till the phrase ‘homeless veteran’ is a factor of the previous.”
Early final yr, the VA set a aim to deal with at the very least 38,000 veterans experiencing homelessness and exceeded the aim, with greater than 40,000 veterans receiving housing in 2022.
Blake Harris, director of the Texas Veterans Fee’s Veterans Psychological Well being Division, mentioned the identical components that contribute to homelessness among the many basic inhabitants are amplified within the veteran neighborhood. Harris mentioned traumatic mind accidents from fight and a restricted social help community improve the probability of a veteran experiencing homelessness.
“That’s the place you see extra substance abuse, extra drug use, extra alternatives to do all of the issues that additional amplify the chance of struggling to get and preserve housing,” Harris mentioned. “The homeless veterans, when it comes to want, are within the deeper finish of the pool.”
Main coverage efforts nationally helped to scale back homelessness amongst veterans, together with a collaboration between the VA and the Division of Housing and City Growth known as the Veterans Help Supportive Housing program that offers veterans vouchers to assist pay lease and entry to case managers and medical companies by way of the VA.
Congress has additionally earmarked cash to deal with the issue. The American Rescue Plan included $10 billion to scale back homelessness nationally for veterans and nonveterans alike, and the American Jobs Plan invested $213 billion to create extra reasonably priced housing.
Veterans susceptible to or experiencing homelessness can name the
Nationwide Name Middle for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET