Number of homeless vets declined in last year

Number of homeless vets declined in last year
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The number of homeless veterans dropped by more than 5 percent in the past year after a slight increase in 2017, the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced Thursday

The number of homeless veterans now stands at just under 38,000 across the country, with nearly 11,000 of them in California. Virginia, Delaware and Connecticut all effectively ended veteran homelessness, meaning every veteran in those states had been offered housing even if they didn’t accept it.

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The homelessness rate among female veterans dropped by 10 percent.

“The reduction in homelessness among Veterans announced today shows that the strategies we are using to help the most vulnerable Veterans become stably housed are working,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This is good news for all Veterans.” 

“We owe it to our Veterans to make certain they have a place to call home,” said HUD Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonDetroit school board considers dropping Ben Carson’s name from local high school Number of homeless vets declined in last year Overnight Energy: Chief energy regulator vows to steer clear of political fights | Zinke was referred to DOJ shortly before watchdog controversy | Groups threaten to sue EPA over paint stripper MORE. “We’ve made great strides in our efforts to end Veteran homelessness, but we still have a lot of work to do to ensure those who wore our nation’s uniform have access to stable housing.”

Wilkie and Carson credited the HUD-VA Supportive Housing Program, which began in 2008, with the decrease. The program “combines permanent HUD rental assistance with case management and clinical services provided by the VA.”

While the Obama administration said in 2010 it intended to end veteran homelessness by 2015, Carson declined to put a date on when the it would be ended for good.

“The date would be as soon as possible, I don’t think I could be more specific than that,” he told reporters.

Wilkie said he intends to travel to Los Angeles this week to meet with officials on how to reduce the number of homeless vets in California, where high housing costs have produced the highest number of homeless veterans in any state across the country.