The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced it will collaborate with the “100,000 Homes” Campaign and its 117 participating communities to find permanent housing for 10,000 vulnerable and chronically homeless veterans this year.
“President Obama and I are personally committed to ending homelessness among Veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki.
“Those who have served this nation as veterans should never find themselves on the streets, living without care and without hope,” he said.
The goal is to end veteran homelessness by 2015.
According to the 2011 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress, homelessness among veterans has declined 12 percent since January 2010.
National support staff, provided by New York-based non-profit Community Solutions, will work with the VA to provide technical assistance to help communities reduce the amount of time necessary to house a single homeless veteran.
The program is a coordinated effort by HUD, VA, and local housing agencies to provide permanent housing with case management and other support services for homeless veterans.
The collaboration will also help the VA increase the proportion of vouchers that help house chronic and vulnerable homeless individuals.
Research indicates that this approach can successfully end homelessness for vulnerable and chronically homeless veterans while also achieving significant public cost savings.
From fiscal years 2008 to 2012, HUD has allocated funding to local public housing authorities to provide over 47,000 housing choice vouchers to homeless veterans.
Volunteers in participating “100,000 Homes” communities will help the VA identify homeless veterans through their registry week process. Registry weeks are community-wide efforts in which volunteers canvass their neighborhoods to survey homeless individuals and gather key information to help VA case managers expedite the housing process.
In 2009, President Obama and Secretary Shinseki announced the federal government’s goal to end veteran homelessness by 2015.
Through the homeless veterans initiative, VA committed $800 million in FY 2011 to strengthen programs that prevent and end homelessness among veterans. The VA provides a range of services to homeless veterans, including health care, housing, job training, and education.