The number of homeless military veterans on the street each night in the United States has declined 18 percent from last year, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday.
VA officials estimate the current number of homeless veterans to be 107,000, down from last year's figure of 131,000. In 2007, the VA's homeless veteran estimate was 154,000.
The drop is an encouraging sign for the VA, whose secretary declared in November a goal of eliminating veterans homelessness within five years.
"The reduction was achieved through VA's commitment to end homelessness among veterans through enhanced collaboration with other federal, state, faith-based, veteran-service organizations and community partners," said Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in a press release.
Shinseki's plan differs from previous approaches to the homelessness problem in that it attempts to prevent veterans from becoming homeless in the first place, VA officials said.