We interrupt our regularly-scheduled post (which we will put up later this month about Foundation Christmas initiatives through the years) to report on this news from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (released November 29, 2023). We view this as GREAT NEWS to share during the Christmas Season!
VA SURPASSES GOAL TO HOUSE 38,000 HOMELESS VETERANS IN 2023
“Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it permanently housed 38,847 homeless veterans through October of 2023—surpassing the 2023 goal two months early.”
Also released with this announcement:
Through October, VA has also:
Engaged with 34,498 unsheltered veterans to connect them with the housing and resources they need, exceeding the department’s 2023 goal by 123%
Ensured that 96.2% of veterans housed have remained in housing, exceeding the department’s 2023 goal by 1.2%
Ensured that 93.1% of veterans who returned to homelessness have been rehoused or are on the pathway to rehousing, exceeding the department’s 2023 goal by 3.1%
In the Greater Los Angeles area, VA provided 1,464 homeless veterans with permanent housing this year—which is the most of any city in America and on pace to exceed the 2023 goal
The Trend. VA News reports that “veteran homelessness has fallen by 11% since early 2020 and more than 55% since 2010.”
There were 33,129 homeless veterans across the country in January of 2023, compared with 37,252 in 2020, according to the “Point-in-Time count”* conducted by the VA, the Housing and Urban Development Agency and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, proving that the intense commitment to ending homelessness is bringing homeless numbers down.
Success with "Housing First"
Housing First is an “evidence-based approach” which prioritizes reaching out to homeless veterans and getting a veteran into housing as soon as possible and then providing him/her with “wraparound support” they need to stay housed, including health care, job training, legal and education assistance and more. Most agencies in the country use the Housing First approach in their work to end homelessness. Source: VA News.
Vision for the Future. Released in December 2022, ALL IN: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness has as its goal a reduction in homelessness by 25% by January 2025. The Plan says that “such a reduction will serve as a down payment on the longer-term work of ending homelessness once and for all”. Further, the Plan is “built upon our vision of a nation in which no one experiences the tragedy and indignity of homelessness, and everyone has a safe, stable, accessible and affordable home.”
As HUD Secretary and a USICH Council Co-Chair says in the introduction to this Plan:
“Homelessness is solvable. We know this because we have seen it done.... When the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness was released in 2010...it launched a period of focus, resolve and targeted investment that drove year-on-year reductions in homelessness, especially for veterans. Since 2010, veteran homelessness has decreased by more than half with over 960,000 veterans and their family members becoming permanently housed or prevented from becoming homeless.”
If you would like to see the full report, which at 104 pages is very comprehensive, find it here.
* Summary of Point-in-Time count: