Veterans homelessness sees sharpest decrease in over five years

Veterans homelessness sees sharpest decrease in over five years

New data show veteran homelessness has decreased 11% since early 2020.  

That’s the sharpest decrease in veteran homelessness in more than five years, according to the 2022 Point-in-Time Count (PIT) from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH).  One of VA’s priorities is reducing veteran homelessness.  

“One veteran experiencing homelessness will always be one too many, but the 2022 PIT Count shows that we are making real progress in the fight to end veteran homelessness,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “There is still a long way to go, but under President Biden’s leadership, we at VA, HUD and USICH will not stop until every veteran has a good, safe, stable home in this country they fought to defend.”  

PIT is an annual effort by HUD to estimate the number of Americans without safe, stable housing. It is one of the tools used to assess annual progress toward VA's goal of ending homelessness among the veteran population.   

HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said the data show that we are closer today than ever before in ensuring every veteran has a home.   

“All veterans deserve to have what they need to lead healthy, safe and successful lives — that starts with a place to call home,” she said. “The data released today shows we are closer than ever in ensuring that every veteran in America has a home and challenges us to ensure that every veteran — and every person in America — has a home.”  

The most notable results from PIT show: 

-The total number of veterans who experienced homelessness was 33,136 – a decrease of 11% over January 2020, the last year a full count was conducted. 

-19,572 veterans experienced sheltered homelessness, and 13,564 veterans experienced unsheltered homelessness. 

-Veterans who experience sheltered homelessness live in places such as emergency shelters, transitional housing programs or other supportive settings. 

-Veterans who experience unsheltered homelessness live in places not meant for human habitation. This includes cars, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings and on the street. 

-The estimated number of veterans experiencing homelessness in America has declined by 55.3% since 2010. 

Data from the 2022 PIT do not reflect the efforts launched by VA, HUD and USICH in 2022. This includes VA’s goal to house 38,000 veterans during this calendar year. VA has placed nearly 31,000 homeless veterans into permanent housing as of September. This puts them on track to meet or exceed its goal.  

“Not only did we lower the number of veterans experiencing homelessness, but we made this progress during a global pandemic and economic crisis,” said USICH Executive Director Jeff Olivet. “This proves that, even under the most difficult circumstances, we can take care of each other and address homelessness.”  

Much of the funding comes from Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which provided VA’s homeless programs with $481 million in additional funding to support veterans.   

If you are a veteran who is experiencing homelessness or at risk for homelessness, call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838). Or visit the VA Homeless Programs website to learn about housing initiatives and other programs for veterans exiting homelessness.