Monday, November 05, 2018

Veteran homelessness fell 5% last year, HUD and VA say

The number of homeless veterans in the U.S. dropped by more than 5 percent in the past year and is half the figure of 2010, the Trump administration announced last week. "The number of homeless veterans had fallen for six consecutive years before ticking up slightly in 2017," Eric Katz reports for Route Fifty. "The departments of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs have led an interagency effort to eradicate veterans homelessness since President Obama in 2010 announced a goal of ending the problem entirely within five years. There are now about 38,000 homeless veterans, according to the government’s count."

The HUD-VA Supportive Housing Program pairs VA case management and clinical services with HUD rental assistance offerings, and helped more than 4,000 chronically homeless veterans find permanent housing in the past year, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said.

Finding housing for homeless vets is difficult because many have fallen through the cracks and off the government's radar, Carson said. VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said the VA doesn't know how many veterans need help because many haven't contacted the agency for more than a decade. He also said issues such as opioid addiction and mental health must be addressed to reduce homelessness.

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