The Obama administration continues to get closer to meeting its goal of ending veteran homelessness in 2015.
Veteran homelessness has declined by 33 percent since 2010, according to new data released in late August by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
The new national estimate comes from data collected from the annual point-in-time count in January 2014, which showed that there were 49,933 homeless veterans. This is a decrease of 24,837 people since the annual count in 2010.
“We have an obligation to ensure that every veteran has a place to call home,” says HUD Secretary Julian Castro. “In just a few years, we have made incredible progress reducing homelessness among veterans, but we have more work to do. HUD will continue collaborating with our federal and local partners to ensure that all of the men and women who have served our country have a stable home and an opportunity to succeed.”
One of the ways the Obama administration has helped to get veterans off the streets and into stable housing is the HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) voucher program.
Since 2008, the HUD-VASH program has served more than 74,000 veterans. Earlier in August, HUD and the VA announced that 24 public housing authorities have received $7 million to provide HUD-VASH vouchers.
Another initiative was the launch of the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness by First Lady Michelle Obama at the beginning of June. More than 210 mayors, county, and state officials so far have signed on to the challenge to end veteran homelessness in their communities.