Homeless Veterans are a visible and troubling reminder of how much work we have left to do. When a Veteran gets to that point, any number of safety have failed, including our own.
That’s why prevention services and unprecedented interagency collaboration have been emphasized ever since Secretary Shinseki called for his goal to end homelessness by 2015. By many measures, the joint effort between the Department of Housing and Urban Development and VA is working toward that goal.
From the Washington Post:
“We come to the mission with different expertise and assets,” Angell said recently. “They have the housing, and we have the clinical care. So when we put the two together, that really is the best way that we’re going to end homelessness.”
Since HUD and VA teamed up, homelessness among Veterans has dropped 12 percent. The 2012 numbers should be released soon.
Though progress has been made, the problem won’t go away unless more community support is built and sustained. VA is ramping up its local community partnerships by releasing nearly $100 million to 151 agencies.
But where is all this going? Support has always been around for homeless Vets, but only in the last few years has the issue been given such urgency. As a VA employee who works on Veteran homelessness said to the Washington Post, “the difference is that we now have a momentum that has occurred that is almost an unstoppable force.”
If you’re a homeless Veteran or family member, or at risk of becoming homeless, please give our help line a call at 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838), and visit our homeless Veteran site for more information on housing assistance, health care options, and more.