Veteran Homelessness

US veteran homelessness slashed in half: What’s behind the decline?, By Aidan Quigley, August 1, 2016, Christian Science Monitor: “The struggles of America’s veterans, disproportionally affected by homelessness, have long been documented. However, a coordinated effort on the part of federal, state, and local governments, as well as veteran advocacy groups has started to make a significant dent in the problem of veteran homelessness.  On the whole, veteran homelessness has decreased 47 percent since 2010 and the number of unsheltered veterans has been slashed by more than half, according to a report released Monday by the Obama administration…”

Homelessness in Los Angeles, CA

L.A. sees another sharp rise in homelessness and outdoor tents, By Gale Holland and Peter Jamison, May 4, 2016, Los Angeles Times: “Homelessness increased in the last year in the city and county of Los Angeles, leaving nearly 47,000 people in the streets and shelters despite an intensive federal push that slashed the ranks of homeless veterans by nearly a third, according to figures released Wednesday by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.  Nearly two-thirds of the homeless people tallied countywide, or 28,000, were in the city of Los Angeles, representing an 11% jump in January from a year earlier, a report from the agency stated. The county’s homeless population grew 5.7%.  Homelessness has increased steadily since 2013, as local officials struggle to identify funding for billion-dollar plans they approved this year to solve one of the region’s most intractable problems…”

Veteran Homelessness

Cities across US slash homelessness for veterans, By Brian MacQuarrie, March 14, 2016, Boston Globe: “Perched on a Spartan bed with a simple metal frame, a tiny bathroom only a few feet away, 61-year-old George Gisoldi beams as he surveys his shoebox-size domain.  The disabled Air Force veteran is no longer homeless.   ‘I have a home to go to. I have a place to go to. I’m somebody,’ Gisoldi, a native New Yorker, said as sunlight streamed through oversize windows at a former Catholic school in Brooklyn. Gisoldi is part of a national response to a federal call to move veterans off the streets. In New York, red tape has been cut, staffing added and consolidated, and veterans identified shelter by shelter, street corner by street corner.  As a result, the homeless veterans living on the street in this teeming city of 8 million have all but disappeared…”

Veteran Homelessness

Cities, states fight veteran homelessness, By Jen Fifield, December 21, 2015, Stateline: “The smell of coffee filled the air on a recent Thursday morning in Carpenter’s Shelter, a homeless shelter here, as about a dozen people milled about. Two U.S. Army veterans were among them: a middle-aged man and woman who aren’t looking for a permanent place to live. They said the food, showers and services at the shelter are enough, for now. The Obama administration, in June 2014, challenged local governments to find a home for all veterans who want one by the end of this month. At least nine states and 850 municipalities tried to meet the goal, but Virginia and 15 municipalities were the only ones that succeeded…”

Homeless Military Veterans

Service members discharged for misconduct have much higher rates of homelessness, study says, By Alan Zarembo, August 26, 2015, Los Angeles Times: “Veterans whose behavior got them kicked out of the military have dramatically higher rates of homelessness than those who left under normal circumstances, according to a new study by researchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Among VA patients who served in Iraq or Afghanistan between 2001 and 2011, 5.6% were discharged for misconduct. Yet these patients accounted for 28.1% of veterans who had been homeless within their first year out of the military, the analysis found. The type of misconduct that resulted in discharge typically involved drug or alcohol use…”

Veteran Homelessness and Unemployment

An end to jobless vets? New VA job program raises hopes, By Gretel Kauffman, June 28, 2015, Christian Science Monitor: “The US Department of Veteran Affairs has launched a new program which offers individualized assistance to the roughly 50,000 unemployed veterans living on the street. Through the Homeless Veterans Community Employment Services program, more than 150 community employment coordinators (CECs) will help veterans at VA locations across the country by identifying those who are job-ready and establishing relationships with community employers who may be able to find them jobs. The coordinators will also connect veterans with resources to help them succeed in their jobs once they find employment…”

Homelessness Among Veterans

Innovative program is tailored to prevent homelessness among vets, By Tony Perry, February 16, 2014, Los Angeles Times: “Kris Warren, a Marine veteran with combat duty in Iraq, remembers the disorientation and other problems that kept him from reentering civilian life. Finally he mustered the courage to ask for help from the Department of Veterans Affairs in Los Angeles. With that help over months, he was able to reunite with his wife and children and avoid slipping into homelessness. Now, Warren, 36, is part of an innovative VA program set to begin in San Diego: a residential treatment facility exclusively for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in danger of becoming homeless…”

2013 US Homeless Count

  • New report: Big drops in veteran, chronic homelessness, By Marisol Bello, November 21, 2013, USA Today: “The number of homeless veterans and people who have been homeless for at least a year has dropped significantly, according to the latest survey by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The number of homeless veterans fell 24% over the past six years, to 57,850, and the number of chronically homeless people decreased 25% to 92,590. Overall, there were 610,040 homeless people in the USA, a 9% drop from 2007, according to the annual count of the homeless. The survey counted people at a given point in time this past January. The number of homeless families, which shot up during the recession, also decreased 8% since 2007 to 222,200, the report shows.”
  • Number of homeless people declines in annual count, By Carol Morello, November 21, 2013, Washington Post: “The number of people who were counted as homeless on a single night this year declined by almost 4 percent, with the biggest drops among families, veterans and those who have been homeless the longest, according to figures released Thursday. Across the United States, 610,000 people were homeless on the night in late January when the annual count is conducted. Most were living in emergency shelters or some form of temporary housing designed to be transitional, but one third were living in unsheltered locations, such as the streets and in fields…”

Homeless Veterans in the US

Veteran homeless drops 7 percent, VA says, By Steve Vogel, December 10, 2012, Washington Post: “The number of homeless veterans in the United States counted on a single night this year declined 7.2 percent from the previous year, a reduction significantly higher than that seen in the general population, according to figures released Monday. Overall, the number of homeless people in the country declined only slightly, to 633,782 counted on a single night in January, about 0.4 percent lower than the previous year. The figures included a 1.4 percent increase in homeless people who are part of households that have at least one adult and one child…”

Homeless Counts

  • Annual homeless count rises slightly, By Kellen Moore, December 13, 2012 Watauga Democrat: “The number of homeless individuals living in northwest North Carolina rose slightly in 2012 from the prior year, mirroring a statewide trend, according to new data released this week. Approximately 1,319 homeless people were recorded in the northwest region as part of the 2012 “point-in-time” estimate, released Monday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development…”
  • Muscatine shelter serves more service members, By Associated Press, December 13, 2012, Muscatine Journal: “A vigorous effort to house the homeless has driven the count of homeless veterans down in many communities across the nation, but not Muscatine. ‘This summer we had four or five, but now we’re up to nine,’ said Maggie Curry, executive director of the Muscatine Center for Social Action. The federal government and local communities have greatly increased the number of beds available to the homeless over the last four years, either through emergency shelters or through government-subsidized apartments and houses…”
  • Santa Monica Annual Homeless Review Reveals Improvements, Dwindling Resources, By Parimal M. Rohit, December 11, 2012, Santa Monica Mirror: “There are fewer homeless people now in Santa Monica than three years ago, but City Hall is running out of resources to help them, according to City staff. In a presentation to council members on Nov. 27, City staff discussed the Annual Homeless Review and revealed the number of people spending the night on Santa Monica’s streets dropped by about 150 since 2009. However, with the loss of redevelopment funds earlier this year, there is less money available for affordable housing programs…”



Homelessness Among Veterans

Number of homeless veterans dropping notably, but major hurdles remain in solving the problem, Associated Press, November 12, 2012, Washington Post: “Arthur Lute’s arduous journey from his days as a U.S. Marine to his nights sleeping on the streets illustrates the challenge for the Obama administration to fulfill its promise to end homelessness among veterans by 2015. Lute has post-traumatic stress disorder from the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon. He spent years drifting through jobs, two years in prison for assault, then 15 months sleeping in the bushes outside the police department of this city south of San Diego. Today, he lives in a $1,235 a month, two-bedroom apartment in a working-class neighborhood. The federal government pays nearly 80 percent of the rent and mostly covers the cost of medicines for his depression, high blood pressure, and other health problems. State-funded programs pay for doctor’s appointments for his 6-month-old son and therapy for his wife, who he said is bipolar…”

Military Veterans Living in Poverty – Los Angeles, CA

Poverty growing among L.A. County veterans, study finds, By Alexandra Zavis, November 9, 2012, Los Angeles Times: “Thousands of veterans in Los Angeles County are falling into poverty and unemployment, according to research commissioned by United Way of Greater Los Angeles, which issued a call to action Friday to better address the needs of returning service members. ‘Our region is woefully unprepared with the support services necessary to ensure a smooth transition into civilian life,’ said the group’s regional president, Elise Buik. Although numerous programs exist to assist local veterans, coordination between them is insufficient, and they aren’t getting consistent or timely data on the population they serve, United Way officials said…”

Homelessness Among Veterans

  • A push to help U.S. veterans fight homelessness, By Pam Fessler, April 16, 2012, National Public Radio: “Last year, the number of homeless U.S. veterans on a given night dropped 12 percent from the year before. But tens of thousands were still on the streets, and more could be joining them as troops return from Afghanistan and Iraq. President Obama has vowed to end veterans’ homelessness by 2015…”
  • More of Asheville’s homeless vets find permanent housing, By Elizabeth Bewley, April 15, 2012, Asheville Citizen-Times: “Sherwood Little, a 56-year-old Navy veteran who used to live on the streets, now rents an apartment in Asheville and receives counseling and medical care – all with the federal government’s help. The Vietnam-era veteran gets monthly vouchers from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help pay his rent. Since moving into an apartment in 2010, he has received treatment for depression and hypertension and has worked with Veterans Affairs Department caseworkers to get signed up for federal disability benefits…”

Homelessness Among Veterans

U.S. mission: End homelessness for veterans by 2015, By Rob Hotakainen, April 4, 2012, Seattle Times: “Darren Spencer, a 39-year-old Army veteran from Tacoma, found himself homeless after losing his $15.45-an-hour job as a furniture mover a year ago. He takes pills for his depression and has trouble hearing. He has no car. And his unemployment benefits ran out in December. But Spencer considers himself lucky on one count: In August, he got a voucher from the federal government to help pay the $725 monthly rent for his apartment in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood, where he lives with his 18-year-old son, Lamont. ‘I still have a lot of stress, but that’s one thing I don’t have to stress about,’ Spencer said. ‘It’s still hard, but at least now I have a place to stay.’ Spencer is among the thousands of beneficiaries of a federal effort to end all homelessness among veterans by 2015. It’s a lofty goal as the nation gears up to accommodate an additional 1 million service members set to return home from war in the next five years…”

Homeless Military Veterans

Number of homeless vets down 12 percent, report says, By Steve Vogel, December 12, 2011, Washington Post: “The number of homeless veterans in the United States declined by nearly 12 percent between January 2010 and January 2011, according to figures being released Tuesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan called the decline ‘nothing short of extraordinary,’ given the economic conditions in the country. The annual survey found that 67,495 veterans were homeless in the United States on a single night in January 2011, nearly 9,000 fewer than the 76,329 counted in January 2010. The figures show nearly an 11 percent drop in homelessness among veterans since January 2009, when 75,609 were recorded as homeless…”

Military Veterans and Homelessness

More Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans wind up homeless, By Gregg Zoroya, October 28, 2011, USA Today: “As wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, federal officials are seeing a growing number of young veterans on the street, according to a joint homeless study by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Veterans Affairs released Friday. About 13,000 of the nation’s homeless in 2010 were ex-servicemembers between ages 18 and 30, a disproportionately large number of the nation’s overall homeless veteran population, the study says…”

Homeless Veterans and Grant Support – Virginia, Florida

  • Recent war vets face risk of homelessness, By Gregg Zoroya, July 25, 2011, USA Today: ” More than 10,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are homeless or in programs aimed at keeping them off the streets, a number that has doubled three times since 2006, according to figures released by the Department of Veterans Affairs.The rise comes at a time when the total number of homeless veterans has declined from a peak of about 400,000 in 2004 to 135,000 today. “We’re seeing more and more (Iraq and Afghanistan veterans),” says Richard Thomas, a Volunteers of America case manager at a shelter in Los Angeles. “It’s just a bad time for them to return now and get out of the military.”…”
  • $1 million grant a lifeline for vets, By Adam Parker, July 28, 2011, Post and Courier: “George Krowska traveled to Myrtle Beach this spring after a relationship went sour. He had been staying in a Colorado shelter for a couple of months, the first time in his life the 62-year-old Army veteran was homeless. But in Myrtle Beach, he was abandoned, he said. Krowska has a heart blockage that qualifies him for disability benefits and requires a certain proximity to a VA hospital, so he hitchhiked to Charleston. At the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, he received treatment, learned about Crisis Ministries, the area’s homeless shelter and got a bus pass…”
  • VA embarks on national homeless prevention initiative, By Lidia Dinkova, July 27, 2011, Miami Harald: “The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has embarked on a national initiative that aims to financially support low-income veterans and their families. The funds will be distributed in the form of grants to non-profit organizations, which, in turn, will give the money to veterans. Six Florida organizations are recipients of these grants, including the Advocate Program and Carrfour Supportive Housing, both in South Florida…”

Military Veterans and Homelessness

Veterans more likely to be homeless, study says, By William M. Welch, February 10, 2011, USA Today: “Military veterans are much more likely to be homeless than other Americans, according to the government’s first in-depth study of homelessness among former servicemembers. About 16% of homeless adults in a one-night survey in January 2009 were veterans, though vets make up only 10% of the adult population. More than 75,000 veterans were living on the streets or in a temporary shelter that night. In that year, 136,334 veterans spent at least one night in a homeless shelter – a count that did not include homeless veterans living on the streets. The urgency of the problem is growing as more people return from service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The study found 11,300 younger veterans, 18 to 30, were in shelters at some point during 2009. Virtually all served in Iraq or Afghanistan, said Mark Johnston, deputy assistant secretary for special needs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)…”

Housing for Homeless Veterans – Massachusetts

A haven for homeless veterans, By David Abel, November 8, 2010, Boston Globe: “Like too many veterans of the Vietnam War, Tom Clark has been homeless for years. Now he’s making a list of all the domestic items he will soon need – a loveseat, vacuum cleaner, an iron – and considering things he never imagined would be a concern, such as how to match his bedding with curtains. ‘This is unbelievable that this is possible,’ said Clark, 58, a former Marine corporal, as he shared his list of household items with fellow veterans from nearby shelters who will join him this month in a new, daintily manicured complex in Pittsfield. It is the nation’s first community of its kind for homeless veterans and part of a new approach to fighting homelessness: Instead of moving those without homes into overcrowded emergency shelters or transitional places far from services, the $6.1 million project that looks like a high-end condo complex provides them with attractive one-bedroom and studio apartments for as long as they want to stay. The new community, which was built beside a shelter for veterans and includes an array of mental health and addiction services, allows the veterans to buy in with a $2,500 deposit and, depending on the size of the apartment, make regular payments of either $640 or $740 from their disability checks or other income to an association that they run…”

US Strategy on Homelessness

  • Administration broadens effort to fight homelessness, By Henri E. Cauvin, June 23, 2010, Washington Post: “The Obama administration released a strategy Tuesday to end homelessness by expanding programs to secure housing for veterans and families with young children and by building on efforts to help chronically homeless people. With the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq highlighting the needs of veterans and the economic crisis straining more families, the administration’s plan widens the role envisioned for the federal government in curbing and ending homelessness. It does not commit additional federal money on top of the billions of dollars already budgeted by the various agencies involved in reducing and preventing homelessness. Instead, the 67-page strategy, drafted by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and unveiled Tuesday, details several smaller projects intended to spur collaboration among federal agencies and with local and state governments…”
  • Obama builds on Bush success to help the homeless, Editorial, June 22, 2010, Christian Science Monitor: “To see what’s happening with the homeless population in America today, consider the following ’30s.’ In the last three years, during the great recession, the number of people who are considered to be chronically homeless has decreased by 30 percent. Over the same time period, the number of homeless families who are temporarily living in shelters has increased by 30 percent, according to a report last week by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The opposite trends show how far America has come in trying to solve homelessness, and where it needs to redouble its efforts. The Obama administration is attempting that extra effort with a national plan to eliminate homelessness. The plan, required by Congress, seeks to end chronic and veterans homelessness in five years – 10 years for families, youth, and children…”