Veterans Affairs Launches $3.1B Plan to House 40,000 Homeless Veterans

There’s some big policy news coming from Washington as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced on Thursday a boost to their housing funds in an effort to house over 40,000 homeless veterans. Here are the details.

$3.1 Billion Battle Plan

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The VA has set aside $3.1 billion for its ambitious homeless program, which aims to move 41,000 homeless vets into permanent housing and ensure that 95% of them remain housed. 

From Streets to Shelters

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They also plan to engage with 40,000 veterans living in cars, parks, or streets who have not previously interacted with the VA and help them with housing resources and other services.

Record Funding

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This sharp rise of almost $400 million from the previous year will be spent on different forms of support, including rental assistance and housing vouchers.

High Numbers of Veteran Homelessness

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In 2010, the VA estimated there were around 76,000 homeless veterans sleeping on the streets around the country.

Turning the Tide

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While the data shows a significant decrease in veteran homelessness since 2010 – a 52% decrease—deputy secretary Tanya Bradsher explained, “We’ve made progress in tackling this problem, but there’s still a long way to go, and that’s why we’re setting these aggressive goals.”

A Pledge to Progress

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Since 2020, there’s been a 4.5% decrease in homeless vets, but “Even one veteran experiencing homelessness is a tragedy,” Bradsher said as she highlighted the VA’s commitment to prioritizing homelessness.

VA’s Strategy for Sustained Stability

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The VA plans to rapidly rehouse veterans and then offer job training, education, legal aid, and healthcare in the hopes that this helps them stay housed. 

Beyond Shelter

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Housing is important, but Bradsher explained it’s just as important to equip veterans with the tools to remain housed.

Decades-Long Struggle

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Veteran homelessness has been a major issue in the U.S. for decades. Multiple governmental administrations have struggled to get unhoused veterans into permanent shelters and to reduce the overall number of homeless veterans.

VA Prioritizes Mental and Physical Health Rehabilitation

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Many returning service members struggle with physical disabilities from injuries as well as mental health issues stemming from combat experiences. 

Tackling Trauma

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The VA recognizes that there’s a need to combat these issues and is intensifying efforts to house veterans in order to provide them with mental health counseling and disability benefits, as well as other essential services to improve their quality of life.

VA and HUD Join Forces to House Veterans

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The VA previously announced they would be working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help house veterans.

They’ve earmarked over $14 million for the project, which will go to public housing agencies to assist homeless vets.

LA Leading the Way

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In their announcement, the VA also laid out their goals for local assistance in the Los Angeles area, aiming to permanently house over 1600 homeless veterans and connect over 2000 unsheltered veterans with housing and support services.

VA Exceeds Local Goals in Housing Veterans

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In 2023, the VA exceeded its local goal in LA by 19%, providing 1,790 permanent housing placements to homeless veterans.

Budget Blueprint

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The VA will need $3.21 billion in 2025 to carry on their homeless programs and to achieve lasting results.

Data Dilemma

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The VA monitors homelessness through a yearly one-night census.

2023 data showed a 7.4% increase in veterans experiencing homelessness compared to the previous year, with many attributing the increase to the economic downturn, the global cost of living crisis, and the housing crisis.

Preventing Relapse

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Case managers are assigned to recently housed veterans to help them maintain their housing stability.

This helps reduce the risk of factors that could lead to repeat homelessness, like addiction or medical issues.

Outreach Overdrive

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It’s a challenging issue to solve, but the VA hopes its new measures will leave a lasting impact. 

Attempting to Reach Every Unsheltered Veteran

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They’re stepping up efforts to reach unsheltered veterans in 2024, as there are thousands of veterans struggling on the streets who have no knowledge of the support measures that are currently in place for them.

VA Surpasses Housing Targets by 23%

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In 2023, the VA engaged with 47,000 veterans, helping them with housing, food assistance, and support services. They exceeded their housing targets by 23%.

Support Beyond Shelter

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The VA’s efforts reflect a comprehensive approach to addressing veteran homelessness, combining housing assistance with supportive services with the aim of achieving lasting solutions.

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The post Veterans Affairs Launches $3.1B Plan to House 40,000 Homeless Veterans first appeared on Thrift My Life.

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