VA and HUD Announce Twenty-Four Percent Reduction in Veterans’ Homelessness since 2010


November 21, 2013

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that a new national report shows a 24 percent reduction in homelessness among Veterans since 2010.
The report also showed an 8 percent reduction between January 2012 and January 2013. The decline keeps the Obama administration on track to meet the goal of ending Veterans’ homelessness in 2015. 
“We are on the right track in the fight to end homelessness among Veterans.  While this trend is encouraging news, we know that there is more work to do,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “As President Obama said, we’re not going to rest until every Veteran who has fought for America has a home in America.  The results in the latest report are a credit to the effort given by our dedicated staff, and our federal, state, and community partners who are committed to ending Veterans’ homelessness.”
“We’re making real and significant progress to reduce homelessness in this country and now is not the time to retreat from doing what we know works,” said U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.  “If we’re going to end homelessness as we know it, we need a continued bipartisan commitment from Congress to break the cycle trapping our most vulnerable citizens, especially our Veterans, between living in a shelter or a life on the streets.  I understand these are tough budget times but these are proven strategies that are making a real difference.  We simply can’t balance our budget on the backs of those living on the margins.”
The 2013 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness, prepared by HUD, estimates there were 57,849 homeless Veterans on a single night in January in the United States, an 8 percent decline since 2012 and a 24 percent decline since 2010. 
VA has made ending Veterans’ homelessness by the end of 2015 a top priority, undertaking an unprecedented campaign to dramatically increase awareness of VA services for homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of becoming homeless.  While the number of homeless people in the United States dropped by 4 percent since 2012, according to the 2013 report, Veterans’ homelessness has shown a more robust decline.  During a period of prolonged economic recovery, the Obama Administration has been able to reduce the number of homeless Veterans by 24 percent, breaking previous patterns of increased homelessness during difficult economies.
Earlier this year, HUD and VA also announced the award of nearly $70 million of HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing grants to further assist in addressing the issue of Veterans’ homelessness.  The program combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA.  Since 2008, a total of 58,140 vouchers have been awarded and 43,371 formerly homeless Veterans are currently in homes of their own because of the joint HUD-VA program.
One of the tools VA uses in its systematic approach to prevent and end Veterans’ homelessness is the Supportive Services for Veteran Families grant program.  In July, VA announced the award of nearly $300 million in grants to 319 community agencies to help approximately 120,000 homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families.
More recently, VA has announced $8.8 million in grants for 164 projects to acquire vans for homeless providers and to rehabilitate housing, plus $4.9 million in grants for 25 community-based projects to enhance services for Veterans.
The grants promote housing stability among homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families.  The grants can have an immediate impact, helping lift Veterans out of homelessness or providing aid in emergencies that put Veterans and their families at risk of homelessness. 
More information about VA’s homeless programs is available at www.va.gov/homeless.  Details about the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program are online at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp.

VA Approves $8.8 Million in Grants to Provide Transportation and Renovated Housing for Homeless Veterans


November 12, 2013


WASHINGTON—The Department of Veterans Affairs has approved $8.8 million in grants to fund 164 projects in 37 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to rehabilitate currently operational transitional housing projects and acquire vans to facilitate the transportation needs of homeless Veterans. 
“President Obama has made eliminating Veterans’ homelessness a national priority,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  “We want every Veteran who faces homelessness to know that VA is here to help.  The Grant and Per Diem Program provides significant assistance to those who need it.”
The grants awarded through the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program are for currently operational grantees, who will use this funding to rehabilitate their current project locations to enhance safety, security and privacy for the homeless Veterans they serve.  Additionally, funding for these organizations to acquire vans will assist homeless Veterans with transportation to medical appointments and employment opportunities, as well as enable grantees to conduct outreach within their communities.
GPD helps close gaps in available housing for the nation’s most vulnerable homeless Veterans, including men and women with children, Indian tribal populations, and Veterans with substance use and mental health issues.  Community-based programs funded by GPD provide homeless Veterans with support services and housing.  GPD grants are offered annually as funding is available by VA’s homeless Veterans programs.
Lisa Pape, National Director of Homeless Programs, which oversees GPD, said, “These grant awards are a reinvestment in the community that will strengthen community services around the country so that homeless Veterans have access to safe and secure housing and receive quality support and services.
“The 2013 GPD grant awards represent an ongoing commitment to VA’s community partners.  These awards will make community-based GPD facilities safer and secure, ensuring that our community partners continue to provide excellent mental health support, employment assistance and job training with the essential component of housing,” Pape added. “Whether it is aid in overcoming substance use or finding a job, a community helping hand is exactly what these Veterans need to lead a better quality of life.”
Since 2009, homelessness among Veteran has decreased more than 17 percent.  As part of President Obama’s and Shinseki’s five-year plan to eliminate Veteran homelessness by 2015, VA has committed over $1 billion in fiscal year 2014 to strengthen programs that prevent and treat the many issues that can lead to Veteran homelessness.
More information about VA’s homeless programs is available at www.va.gov/homeless.  Details about the GPD Program are online at www.va.gov/homeless/GPD.asp.
To help a homeless Veteran or Veteran at risk of homelessness, refer them to the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans, 1-877-4AID-VET, or direct them to www.va.gov/homeless.  The hotline connects homeless Veterans, Veterans at risk of becoming homeless and their families with the VA services and benefits they have earned.

Secretary Shinseki Announces an Additional $4.9 Million to Help Eliminate Veterans Homelessness


November 12, 2013

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that 25 projects in 11 different states will share approximately $4.9 million in grants to provide enhanced services for homeless Veterans this year.  This is in addition to the approximately $300 million in preventive grants awarded earlier this year through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.
“Our local partners have played a vital role in our effort to find, engage, and rescue every homeless Veteran,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  “Until no Veteran has to sleep on our Nation’s streets, we still have work to do.”
As a key component of VA’s plan to eliminate homelessness among Veterans, VA’s Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program funds  community agencies that provide services to homeless Veterans.  The program promotes the development and provision of supportive housing and services with the goal of helping homeless Veterans achieve residential stability, increase their skill levels and income, and obtain greater self-determination.
On a single night in January 2012, a national count of homeless Veterans totaled 62,619, which was more than 17 percent below the figure for 2009.  As part of President Obama’s and Secretary Shinseki’s plan to eliminate Veteran homelessness in 2015, VA has committed over $1 billion in fiscal year 2014 to strengthen programs that prevent and treat the many issues that can lead to Veteran homelessness.
For more information, visit VA’s website for the National Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Office atwww.va.gov/homeless/GPD.ASP.  Additionally, VA has a National Call Center for Homeless Veterans, 1-877-4AID VET (1-877-424-3838), http://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/NationalCallCenter.asp.