Homeless Veterans

Homeless Veterans

About the Initiative

VA’s Commitment to End Veteran Homelessness

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According to a count on a January night in 2012, there are 62,619 Veterans who are homeless. For the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), even one Veteran without safe and stable housing is one too many.


About the Initiative

In 2009, President Barack Obama and VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced the goal of ending Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. Together with partners and supporters nationwide, VA is determined to meet that challenge through the Homeless Veterans Outreach Initiative, an unprecedented commitment to those who served our nation but lack safe, secure housing.

Since 2009, the number of Veterans who are homeless has dropped by 17.2 percent. To build on our progress, VA has increased programs and funding to help Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. In fiscal 2013, VA will dedicate $1.4 billion to specialized homeless programs and $4.4 billion to health care for Veterans who are homeless.

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Veterans and Homelessness

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There are many reasons Veterans can become homeless, including poverty, lack of support from family or friends, substance use, or mental health challenges that may develop or worsen as a result of trauma they experience while serving. VA is committed to meeting the needs of every Veteran. Comprehensive, individualized care including health care, housing assistance, job training, and education can help Veterans secure safe, stable housing and achieve self-sufficiency.

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Make the Call: 877-4AID-VET

The single best way to help Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless is to connect them with VA. Each VA medical center has a homeless coordinator on staff and specific programs that provide Veterans the support they need to establish or maintain safe, stable housing. VA has also established the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans (877-4AID-VET, or 877-424-3838), a toll-free hotline available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained responders—many of them Veterans themselves—are available to provide support to Veterans and their loved ones who lack safe, secure housing. These services are also available on an online chat at va.gov/homeless.

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Together, We Can Help

All Americans can join VA in the fight to end Veteran homelessness and make sure all Veterans have access to the resources and support they’ve earned. From the justice community to health care providers, from nonprofit agencies to the faith community, from neighbors to family members and employers, we can all do something to help end Veteran homelessness.

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What Is VA Doing?

  • In 2012, VA served more than 240,000 Veterans who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless—21 percent more than the year before.
  • In fiscal 2012, 80,558 calls were made to the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans—123 percent more than the year before.
  • VA is the only federal agency that provides substantial hands-on assistance directly to Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
  • VA’s major programs for Veterans and their families constitute the largest integrated network of homeless assistance programs in the country.
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Connect with us

Subscribe to Receive
Email Updates
  • Benefits:
    1-800-827-1000
  • Health Care:
    1-877-222-VETS (8387)
  • VA Inspector General: 1-800-488-8244
  • Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 Press 1

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