Veteran homelessness is down 47% since 2010, 17% in the past year. That equates to less than 40,000 Veterans that experienced homelessness on a given night in January, 2016. While those figures are commendable, it is still horrendous to think that almost 40,000 individuals are homeless. While progress is definitely being made, there is still much to do.
Ten strategies developed by those interested in ending veteran homelessness include the following:
- Getting local leaders to support helping veterans locate and utilize needed community resources.
- Removing as many barriers to housing services as possible.
- Developing a coordinated entry system that matches veterans to appropriate housing opportunities and services.
- Developing a plan to effectively utilize all available resources.
- Improving transitional housing opportunities.
- Development of partnerships with landlords to fully utilize local, state and federal subsidies.
- Identifying all homeless veterans and tracking progress toward permanent housing.
- Engage in coordinated and creative outreach efforts.
- Increasing connections to employment programs.
- Coordinating with legal service organizations to resolve legal issues.
While it is laudable that homelessness in the veteran population is down, knowing that almost 40,000 veterans are still homeless should energize us toward putting an end to the problem once and for all.