(WNY News Now) – Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) triumphs for the second consecutive year, surpassing its target to provide permanent housing for homeless veterans. In 2023, the VA’s initiative placed 46,552 veterans into stable homes, exceeding its goal by 122.5%.
The VA’s commitment to eradicating veteran homelessness gained momentum in March 2023, with a pledge to place 38,000 homeless veterans into permanent housing. For the second consecutive year, the VA not only met but exceeded its goal. By the close of 2023, 46,552 homeless veterans found permanent homes through the collaborative efforts of the VA and its community partners.
Crucially, the VA achieved a 95.9% housing retention rate among those housed, demonstrating the effectiveness of their initiatives. Of the small number of veterans (1,919) who returned to homelessness, an impressive 96.4% were swiftly rehoused or put on a clear pathway to rehousing by year-end.
Beyond housing, the VA’s engagement extended to 40,203 unsheltered veterans, connecting them with comprehensive care, including crucial housing and health services. The array of services provided addresses the diverse housing needs and barriers veterans may encounter.
This multifaceted support includes outreach, engagement, assessment, and referral services, such as the Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) and the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans. Residential services, like the HCHV Contracted Residential Services and Grant and Per Diem programs, offer emergency or transitional housing, while permanent housing services, such as Supportive Services for Veteran Families and HUD-VASH, ensure long-term housing stability.
The VA’s commitment extends to assisting veterans in the criminal justice system, facilitating meaningful employment, and addressing health needs through tailored primary care.
Despite the remarkable progress since 2010, with a reduction of over 52% in veteran homelessness, challenges persist. While 83 communities and three states have effectively ended veteran homelessness, the VA emphasizes that one homeless veteran remains one too many.
The call to action encourages support in the ongoing fight to provide America’s veterans with safe and stable housing. Individuals can learn how to get involved and contribute to the mission of ending veteran homelessness.
If you are a Veteran who is homeless or at risk for homelessness, call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838).
Visit the VA Homeless Programs website to learn about housing initiatives and other programs for Veterans exiting homelessness.