Veterans homelessness on decline

The Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development have announced that a new national report shows that homelessness among veterans has been reduced by nearly 12 percent between January 2010 and January 2011.

According to the 2011 supplement to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) released today, 67,495 veterans were homeless in the United States on a single night in January 2011 – a significant reduction from 2010’s single night count of 76,329.

Since 2009, working with over 4,000 community agencies, VA and HUD have successfully housed a total of 33,597 veterans in permanent, supportive housing with dedicated case managers and access to VA health care. The complete 2011 Annual Homeless Assessment Report will be available in 2012.

VA also announced it will make $100 million in grants available to community agencies across the country to prevent nearly 42,000 veterans and their families from falling into homelessness or to quickly return them to stable housing. The funds are offered for fiscal 2012 through VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, a homeless-prevention and rapid re-housing program.

Last year, VA provided $60 million through the SSVF program to community providers, which will affect nearly 22,000 people through 85 non-profit community agencies in 40 states and the District of Columbia. The program provides community organizations with funding for counseling, training, education assistance, direct time-limited financial assistance, transportation, child care, rent, utilities, and other services aimed at preventing homelessness or providing homes for participating veterans and family members.

The available funds were announced in a message posted in the Federal Register and at VA’s website, Private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives interested in the grants have until February 15, 2012, to submit completed applications.

This month and in January 2012, VA will sponsor free workshops to review the grant application process. Community organizations interested in applying for funds under this program can use the website to find dates for workshops in Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, San Francisco, and St. Louis. Community organizations seeking more information on the SSVF program can also contact VA at (877) 737-0111 or at