As I was walking to work this morning, I noticed a man bundled up under a blanket with a sign that read, Homeless Vietnam Vet. Please help. It broke my heart to see a fellow vet with no place to go during this very cold and windy day in Washington D.C. I cannot imagine what it’s like to sit outside in this cold weather with no place to go.
I’ve seen the many sacrifices made by my fellow veterans. Our veterans have given so much to our country so it is vital we ensure they have as many resources available to them when they return. They’ve fought for our country and now we must fight for them. At HUD, we make it a priority to ensure veterans have one of the most basic needs available to them — housing.
Today, Secretary Donovan spoke to the National Forum on Homelessness Among Veterans to discuss the work HUD is doing to target the veteran population. During his remarks, Secretary Donovan discussed the HUD-VASH program which combines HUDs Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) case management and clinical services. HUD also has HUDVET a veterans resource center that provides veterans and family members with information on HUDs community-based programs and services. Together HUD and VA have committed to reducing the number of homeless veterans to 59,000 by June 2012 which will put us on the path to end homelessness in five years.
During his remarks, Secretary Donovan also stressed that this is a fight we must take on, it is a fight the President has taken on — and most important of all, it is a fight we must win.