It’s a national tragedy that any veteran, after serving our country in uniform, becomes homeless. Veterans are fifty percent more likely to become homeless compared to all Americans and the risk is even greater among veterans living in poverty and poor minority veterans. This is precisely why the Obama Administration established the ambitious goal to end veteran homelessness by 2015. Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness serves as a roadmap for how the federal government will work to confront the root causes of homelessness, especially among former servicemen and women.
One way to tackle the housing and service needs of our homeless veterans is to provide a permanent home and make sure they continue to get access to health care of case management. Today, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki awarded $46 million to public housing agencies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to supply permanent housing and case management for 6,790 homeless veterans in America.
HUD’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH), is a coordinated effort by HUD, VA, and local housing agencies to provide permanent housing for homeless veterans. HUD Secretary Donovan put it this way, “We have no greater mission than to prevent and end homelessness, especially for those brave men and women who risked their lives to protect our nation.”