- About Homelessness
- News & Events
- Take Action
- About Us
|The Administration has recently committed to ending homelessness for the 76,000 homeless veterans in the U.S.|
The Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently released Volume I of the 2012 Annual Homeless Assessment Report. Among the key findings included in the report was the estimate that 62,619 veterans were homeless on a single night in 2012. That estimate represents a 7.2 percent decline compared to HUD's 2011 estimate, and a 17.2 percent decline compared to its 2009 estimate.
The veteran homelessness population is made up of veterans who served in several different conflicts, ranging from World War II to the recent conflicts. Though research indicates that veterans who served in the late Vietnam and post-Vietnam era are at greatest risk of homelessness, veterans returning from the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq often have severe disabilities that are known to be correlated with homelessness. And as the military evolves, so too do the challenges. Homeless women veterans, for instance, are far more common now than in any other time in the past.
In 2010, Eric Shinseki, VA Secretary, set bold goals for his department in addressing homelessness among veterans, pledging to reduce the number of homeless veterans from 131,000 in 2008 to 59,000 in 2012. The Administration’s proposed budget, released in February 2010, seemed to support the Secretary’s goal by dramatically increasing VA’s budget for homeless assistance programs for veterans.
As with the general homeless population, rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention strategies are critical for many veterans experiencing homelessness. However, those veterans with the most severe physical and mental health disabilities – often caused by their military service – require permanent housing with supportive services.