How Do You Cut the Number of Homeless Vets? Provide Housing

VA and HUD figure it out.

The Veterans Affairs and the Housing and Urban Development departments announced Thursday that he number of homeless vets declined 24 percent since 2010 due to one simple fact: putting a lot of bucks into vet housing.

The 2013 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness, prepared by HUD, estimated there were 57,849 homeless Veterans on a single night in January in the United States, an 8 percent decline since 2012 and a 24 percent decline since 2010.

VA-HUD programs include $70 million this year for Supportive Housing grants that combine rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services from VA. Since 2008, a total of 58,140 vouchers have been awarded and 43,371 formerly homeless veterans are currently in homes of their own because of the joint HUD-VA program.

This July the two departments awarded nearly $300 million in grants to 319 community agencies to help approximately 120,000 homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families.  

This year, VA also provided $8.8 million in grants for 164 projects to acquire vans for homeless providers and to rehabilitate housing, plus $4.9 million in grants for 25 community-based projects to enhance services for veterans.

What a concept: If vets have access to housing, they are no longer homeless.