Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Number of homeless veterans drops 18 percent

Dec 7, 2010 - An 18 percent drop in the number of homeless veterans over about two years gives hope to the secretary of Veterans Affairs that he’ll be able to keep a pledge made last year to end homelessness among veterans within five years.

Speaking at a national symposium on homelessness, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said the current estimate of homeless veterans is down from about 250,000 a decade ago, a sign that this “national shame” can be solved through coordinating government programs.

His remarks came Tuesday at the National Forum on Homelessness Among Veterans, where he and other Obama administration officials spoke with people who run homeless programs about interagency cooperation.

But seeing progress is not the same as declaring victory. “We need to do more together, and we need to do things faster, better and smarter,” he said. “We are in a tough fight. I know it, you know it.”

VA spent $3.5 billion on homeless programs in 2010 and is asking for $4.2 billion for 2011, with 85 percent of the money earmarked for health care, Shinseki said. {read rest}

No comments: