All across the nation, community by community, states are doing better at making sure veterans have homes. According to the latest VA tally, 3 states (Connecticut, Delaware, and Virginia) and 66 communities have “effectively ended” veteran homelessness. The latest to join the list is Little Rock, Arkansas.
Since 2010, homelessness has been nearly halved; between years 2017 and 2018, it declined by 5%. The progress is due in large part to Home, Together, a program run by the VA with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other federal, state and local partners. Using HUD’s “targeted” housing vouchers and the VA’s homelessness programs ( www.va.gov/homeless/for_homeless_veterans.asp), nearly 700,000 veterans and their family members have been permanently housed, rapidly rehoused, or prevented from falling into homelessness.
VA medical centers are key to helping drive down the homeless numbers, the VA says. For instance, the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System collaborates with state and local government, nonprofits, corporate partners, and community members to find homes, jobs, transportation, and services for veterans. The VA health care resources form a “band of care,” the VA says, which provides a holistic support system, including for those experiencing homelessness.
“No American veteran should be without a safe and stable place to call home,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “We will continue this important work until we achieve a day when homelessness among veterans is rare and brief in every community across our country.”