On Wednesday night, Jan. 29, hundreds of volunteers walked the streets of Washington, D.C., in search of the city’s homeless. The goal was to find and count as many of them as possible in order to get a snapshot – a “point-in-time” count – of the current homeless population.
The yearly outreach effort, conducted by HUD and VA, takes place in more than 3,000 communities across the nation. It’s just one way VA reaches out to homeless Veterans. Last year, in 2013, there were an estimated 57,849 homeless Veterans on that single night in January in the United States, an 8 percent decline since 2012 and a 24 percent decline since 2010.
I accompanied some of the volunteers, including HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, across Capitol Hill and other D.C. neighborhoods as they met and got information from the city’s homeless.
VA is committed to ending Veterans’ homelessness in 2015. No one who has served our country should ever go without a safe, stable place to call home.
Explore www.va.gov/homeless to learn about VA’s programs for Veterans and to find out what you, your neighbors, and your community can do to help Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless.