The homeless veterans issue is one which has been getting a lot of press lately. Much of that press focuses on the problem of homelessness among veterans, but often doesn't offer any solutions. News that came out earlier this week shows some promise in the fight to get these men and women off the street and find our veterans affordable homes.
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced nearly $65 million to help more than 9,300 homeless veterans find a permanent place to call home. The program, HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing or HUD-VASH, teams up HUD rental assistance with VA case management and clinical services.
This pairing of two different services was done to help homeless veterans find homes with funding and also to deliver support services to veterans. As those who understand the plight of our veterans will tell you, finding a home is just a part of the solution. Our homeless military veterans also must conquer other issues such as addiction, depression and PTSD.
Since 2008, more than 69,000 vouchers have been awarded and over 88,000 homeless veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program. Rental assistance and supportive services provided through HUD-VASH are a critical resource for local communities in ending homelessness among our nation’s Veterans.
Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
During Monday's HUD-VASH announcement of the release of more vouchers to states, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald stated, “The Department of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and our federal and local partners should be proud of the gains made reducing veteran homelessness, but so long as there remains a veteran living on our streets, we have more work to do. The vouchers made available today are a vital tool to making sure veterans across the country have a home.”
You can view a list of the state by state distribution of 2015 HUD-VASH vouchers here.
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