Tags: Veterans | homeless veterans | efforts

6 Efforts to End Veteran Homelessness You Didn't Know

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Jun 2015 06:05 PM

Successful programs and collaborative efforts among government and private sectors have helped to reduce veteran homelessness. Although homeless veterans remain, attention to the problem has led to improvements.

Here are six efforts that have helped decrease veteran homelessness.

1. Government Goals
The Obama administration set a goal in 2009 of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. Data revealed a sharp decline in the number of homeless veterans between 2010 and January 2014. The number of homeless veterans in America was at 49,933, a 33-percent decline, or 24,837 fewer homeless vets, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

2. Government Funding
The Obama administration, Congress and the Veterans Administration have worked to increase funding to prevent veteran homelessness with substantial increases in 2013 and 2014, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

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3. Community Programs
Since government programs for homeless veterans are limited, the VA has emphasized collaboration with community-based programs since 1987 to help return vets to a normal lifestyle. Community-based, non-profit groups work best to transition vets out of homelessness and protect veterans at risk for homelessness, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

4. Opening Doors
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness launched its Opening Doors program to target resources for veterans’ needs and invest in new resources to help vets with housing. The program helps connect federal, state and community partners in achieving housing needs for vets. Opening Doors also tries to increase opportunities for sustainable employment and improve crisis response systems for veterans.

5. Help End Chronic Homelessness
Under the Opening Doors program, the federal Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness helped place homeless vets into permanent housing. In 95 percent of the cases, vets were living in independent housing after a year, according to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

6. Veterans Inc.
Organizations such as Veterans Inc. have been formed to help end homelessness among vets. Veterans Inc., headquartered in Massachusetts, helped more than 50,000 veterans and their families since 1991. It has an 85 percent success rate in transitioning vets out of homelessness, according to its website. Organizations like these also help to provide food and clothing to vets and their families in need.

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