The American Armed Forces press reported this week that the Veterans Administration is making progress on its pledge to end Veteran homelessness by 2015.
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki stated that the VA’s new initiatives have decreased the number of homeless Veterans on any given night in America from 76,300 in 2010 to about 67,500 in 2011. The VA’S goal is to continue decreasing that number to 35,000 by the end of 2013 and to zero by the end of 2015.
Part of the VA’s work to end Veteran homelessness includes funding to community based organizations that house homeless Veterans includes an additional budget request for fiscal year 2013 of $1.4 billion for homeless prevention programs, a 33% increase.
“The additional funding will provide grants and technical assistance to community nonprofit organizations to maintain veterans and their families in current housing or get them quickly into new housing. It also will provide grants and per diem payments for community-based organizations offering transitional housing to 32,000 veterans,” the article reported.
“Homelessness among veterans was a demonstration to me that we didn’t have all our programs knitted together,” Shinseki said. “As good as we thought we were doing in health care and other benefits, … we had people who were slipping through the gaps in our programs — most visibly, the homeless.”
“If you say you are going to end homelessness, then you have to be good at everything else,” he said. “If you declare to end it, you have to figure out all the pieces that contribute to it so you can begin solving the pieces in order for the whole to be solved.”
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Read the full article at the U.S. Department of Defense website