NPR Correspondent Gives Update on Homeless Veterans

NPR correspondent Quill Lawrence. Courtesy of NPR

NPR correspondent Quill Lawrence. Courtesy of NPR

As part of the annual homeless count held each winter by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, NPR correspondent Quil Lawrence hit the streets last night in New York City.

He accompanied volunteers during their “point-in-time” survey looking for and counting the homeless at parks and in the train station.

After a night out, Lawrence said he only met one homeless man who said he was a veteran. But the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that there are 150,000 homeless veterans at any one time.

It’s also estimated about 1 percent of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan wars become homeless. But the VA changed its approach offering “housing first” which is now drawing down the number of homeless and preventing others at risk from slipping into homelessness.

Recently, Phoenix became the first city to declare it had ended homelessness among veterans which is a stated goal of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Florida is one of the top “hot spots” for homeless veterans making it the focus of VA officials who have the stated goal of ending veteran homelessness by December 2015. The other states where veteran homelessness is considered a problem are Texas, California and New York.

Listen to Quil Lawrence’s full report.


3 Responses

  1. It is sad, afther have served, to be deprived of job, home and forget by more. It is hypochrisy heard or read. Serve those have served us, when no more is made on matter. We may understand the problems th country face, we may understand the difficulties but what not consent to make a program that planify the build or the restructurations of home for veterans? Where the difficulties? Are they to be eliminated or we must care them. We ask all veterans have a job, all a home,all then an affective place where life and be men honored for service done, sacrifices made, honor due toward them. We ask eliminate what may also worse PTSD. You buddies, be not afraid and ask what is your right and Constitution warrant to alls. claudio alpaca

  2. i have met several homeless veterans right here in palm bay, fla. asking for a hand out, on the street corner of the local stores. do we really understand what the problem is or why some choose to be homeless. most of the homeless veterans are reserve and national guard. when we come back from a deployment. no home, which i dont understand why the military does not encourage the warrior to have an allotment taken out to pay for their mortgage. prior to deployment, a military member needs a bank account, and if one wants the housing allowance, need to show proof. with this paper, an allotment can be created,..hoping for all to be good.

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