VA Push to End Veteran Homelessness
The Department of Veterans Affairs has pledged to end veteran homelessness in the United States. And since that pledge was formally made the VA has met its housing goals to find permanent homes for nearly 40 thousand vets for two years running.
When it passed that milestone for a second time in 2023, it did so with some other impressive numbers. Roughly 90% or more of all veterans placed in permanent housing have reported more financial stability after that assistance.
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a variety of help for those who need permanent housing. We explore some of those options below.
VA Help For Homeless Veterans by the Numbers
The VA’s effort to end homelessness among veterans started in 2022. Since then, the agency has helped more than 78 thousand homeless veterans. VA leadership has pledged to continue the program until all veterans are permanently housed.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development released figures noting more than 33 thousand veterans in the United States are considered homeless.
- The number of vets without permanent housing is currently declining, likely thanks at least partly to programs like the VA’s.
- Part of the VA’s plan to end veteran homelessness involves “coordinated entry,” which involves both the VA and partner agencies working together to help those in danger of becoming homeless.
The partnerships mentioned in that last bullet point are a key part of the approach to helping vets.
Just operating a program is likely not enough, according to some. “We need to be coordinated with our community partners,” said Eileen Devine, former national director for Health Care for Homeless Veterans quoted on the VA official site for homeless veteran outreach.
Devine adds, “We need to be relying on what they do best, their expertise in the communities, knowing that it is probably different than ours and would add to the care for homeless Veterans in our communities.”
A VA Partnership With HUD
That’s likely one reason for a partnership between the VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD-VASH is a program combining HUD housing vouchers “with VA supportive services to help Veterans who are homeless and their families find and sustain permanent housing.”
It’s a good example of the type of partnerships needed to end the problem, and at press time, the program has made more than 110 thousand housing vouchers available to stateside veterans.
Resources for Homeless Veterans
If you or someone you know is in danger of losing housing security or is already homeless, contact your nearest VA Medical Center. You can also see the VA official site to learn about support services for veteran families. Other resources include:
- VA Homeless Programs
- VA Stakeholder page to help homeless veterans
- National Call Center for Homeless Vets 1-877-4AID VET (877-424-3838)
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About the author
Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.