March 10th, 2010
07:12 PM ET

VA officials: Vet homelessness on the decline

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.

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Filed under: Military • U.S. • Veterans
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Erin

    An 18% decrease in homeless vets? What % of that is just the declining numbers of vets still alive from WW2 and Vietnam? They are an aging population–of course their numbers are declining; they are declining in all categories.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. Cindy Merrill

    Too many low income Vets are still without adequate food assistance-I would advocate sending shelf stable senior "MREs" to VA clinics ( Food pantries and Gov. Food Commodities' items are filling, but extremely high in sodium and carbs,)
    If we can put a man on the moon and sent the Internet to every corner of the globe, surely it's possible to come up with dietic MRE's for restricted diets.

    March 11, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  3. Michele

    I hope this is true I tend not to believe all that they say...The Veterans Department is taking a large bit of critism for the handling of claims. I know that employees at the VA work hard but the system is broken there is a better way to handle veterans but the poweres that be don't seem to be trying really hard.

    March 11, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. forest

    Looks good on paper, but I don't understand how the VA comes up with these numbers. It amazes me that just after Shinseki initiates a plan to prevent homelessness, these numbers come out. Who is on the street counting homeless vets.

    March 11, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. Larry Kegel

    Forest: All You have To Do Is Drive Around Calif. And You Will See The Vietnam Vets on almost ever corner of a Main Street are at the End of all Off Ramps are the Freeways Here!!! It is just a shame that The Government & Those giving out the News doesn't do anything about it!!! Do You really think the the Veterans would waste Their time protesting if It Wasn't a Truth??? If You Live in Los Angeles... Just Drive By Wilshire & San Viente on Sunday atfer 1:00 P.M. and You will See Us Protesting there!!!

    March 11, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jim s

    try getting help from the VA clinic for medical supplies and they allow you 1 appointment a year
    if you dont get to a VA hospital and go to the emergency room your out of luck
    if the meds you need are not in the VA formilary and you cant afford them out of pocket
    your out of luck you will get no help from the VA

    July 8, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |