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Homeless Veterans

Homeless Veterans

About the Initiative

About the Initiative

“[W]e’re not going to rest until every Veteran who has fought for America has a home in America.”
— Present Barack Obama, August 2014

In 2010, the White House and VA issued a plan to end Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. Together with partners nationwide, VA launched the End Veteran Homelessness initiative, an unprecedented effort to make sure Veterans are able to obtain permanent housing and that Veterans at risk of homelessness remain housed.

This initiative has been successful so far. According to the 2014 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count, the number of Veterans who are homeless is down by 33 percent since 2010.

SecVA and Lisa Pape

Steady progress has been made, but there is more work to do to address the many causes of homelessness among Veterans. These include poverty, insufficient access to reasonably priced housing, isolation from family or friends and substance use or mental health challenges that may develop or worsen as a result of service-related trauma.

A Systemic End to Veteran Homelessness

Well know we have achieved a systemic end to Veteran homelessness when there are no Veterans sleeping on the streets and there are no more than 12,500 Veterans in shelters, transitional housing or other temporary housing arrangements awaiting permanent housing.

The reality of no Veteran living unsheltered is something we can and will achieve, yet we know some of our Veterans are one rough patch away from housing insecurity or homelessness. So VA must have the capacity to quickly house Veterans who become homeless or who we know are at risk.

We will remain vigilant in identifying homeless Veterans and those most at risk of homelessness and connect both to programs and services that lead to safe, stable housing. Our ultimate goal is for all Veterans to have permanent, sustainable housing with access to high-quality health care and other supportive servicesOur Work to End Veteran Homelessness 

VA is engaging in partnerships to expand access to meaningful employment, affordable housing and move-in essentials, which help newly housed Veterans make their house a home. We are also working specifically with city governments and mayors on targeted efforts to end Veteran homelessness through these key initiatives:

VA also strives to meet the needs of Veterans by providing various services that help Veterans secure housing and achieve greater independence. These services include:

All of this work is guided by the Housing First approach, which is based on the premise that when Veterans have a home, they need.

Everyone Counts in the Fight to End Homelessness

Thanks in part to key strategic partnerships, targeted investments and adoption of best practices like Housing First, the goal of a systemic end to Veteran homelessness is within reach.

VA leaders and staff actively participate as volunteers in the annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Count, an effort led by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to estimate the number of Americansending homelessness during the previous year. Learn more

DC PIT Count photo

VA is committed to reaching the milestone of ending homelessness among Veterans. Sustaining this accomplishment will require continued investment in effective interventions to prevent homelessness among Veterans and rapidly re-house those who become homeless, relentless outreach to Veterans in need and strong collaborations among government, employers and community-based entities.

Get Involved

Learn more about VA’s homeless programs and get involved. Take part in an upcoming event to assist Veterans who are homeless.

If you know a Veteran who is homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless, refer him or her to a local VA Medical Center, where VA staff are ready to help. Veterans and their families can also call 1-877-4AID-VET to be connected to VA services.

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