The battle to end homelessness among veterans is just beginning according to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. The Washington Post covered the VA secretary’s speech Wednesday at the 2012 Annual Conference of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.
“Our homeless veterans are counting on us to bring a sense of urgency to this fight — and I do mean fight,” Shinseki said. “The hill gets steeper and the air gets thinner the closer you get to the summit. VA will continue to fight just as hard for our budgets as we have in the past. But at this point, more is not better: Better is better.”
The number of homeless veterans decreased the during point-in-time count from 2010 to 2011. The head of HUD attributes that to its “housing first” strategy.
Additionally, the VA announced its partnership with the “100,000 Homes” Campaign that is present in more than 130 communities. The goal of the collaboration will be to find permanent housing for 10,000 homeless Veterans this year.
“President Obama and I are personally committed to ending homelessness among Veterans,” Secretary Shinseki is quoted in a press release. “Those who have served this Nation as Veterans should never find themselves on the streets, living without care and without hope.”
The collaboration will support the ongoing work of “Opening Doors,” the federal plan to end chronic and Veteran homelessness.
Volunteers in participating “100,000 Homes” communities will help the VA identify homeless Veterans through their registry week process. Staff will also offer quality improvement training designed to help reduce the amount of time necessary to house a homeless Veteran to 90 days or less.
Pilot training in Los Angeles and New York City has already helped shave an average of 64 days from the Veteran housing process in these communities according to the press release.
Filed under: Homelessness, Veterans, Veterans Administration Tagged: | Eric Shinseki, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington Post