By Debbie Gregory.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have announced that the latest national report has found that Veteran homelessness has gone down 24% since 2010.
Prepared by HUD, the 2013 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness reports that there were 57,849 homeless Veterans as of January, 2013. Homeless Vets account for 12% of all homeless adults in America. While these numbers are staggeringly high, the homeless Vet toll for 2010 was 76,329, the highest in recent years.
In 2009, President Obama and the VA announced the launch of the Homeless Veterans Initiative, which had a goal to end homelessness among Veterans by 2015. The president declared that even one Veteran without safe and stable housing was one too many. The VA has implemented campaigns designed to raise the awareness of their services and benefits for homeless Veterans and those Veterans who may be in danger of becoming homeless.
The results of their efforts have been a steady decrease in homelessness among Veterans since 2010. Veteran homelessness went down 8% between 2012 and 2013, dropping by 4,770 individuals. The 24% drop between 2010 and 2013 means that 18,480 Veterans during this time were homeless and now have homes. The VA and HUD and their efforts are to thank for many of these successes.
In May, the VA and HUD announced that they were awarding $70 million in grants to further assist battling Veteran homelessness. The two departments have partnered, combining rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services by the VA. Since 2008, the partnership has helped find homes for 43,371 Veterans that were homeless or in danger of becoming homeless. And since the battle against Veteran homelessness isn’t over, the efforts continue.
In July, the VA announced that $300 million in grants would be awarded to 319 community agencies in an effort to help homeless and at-risk Vets. The VA has also announced that $8.8 million in grants will be used to upgrade 164 existing Veteran housing projects. And the VA recently awarded $4.9 million in grants for 25 community-based projects to enhance services for Veterans. The money from the grants will be used to promote housing stability among homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families. The grants can have an immediate impact, helping lift Veterans out of homelessness, or providing aid in emergencies that put Veterans and their families at risk of homelessness.
For more information about Veteran homelessness or how the VA can help a homeless Veteran, please click here.