It’s not a secret that the housing market has experienced ups and downs in the recent years and the current economic climate is not helping. Veterans have consistently struggled with finding permanent, suitable housing. The Department of Veteran Affairs is of course aware of this problem but there is no easy, simple solution. Some of the problem is that there isn’t as many available as there should be to remedy the need. And it’s not just the resources but the time component that is also making the need challenging to find an adequate answer. The VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are both working together to find an answer. While the government can’t meet all the needs, there is a gap and some of that gap is being filled by non profits who do have time, passion and in some case, expertise or personal experience in this matter.
Veterans, as previously noted, have not taken an easy road to housing. It isn’t their fault, but it’s not hard to see how the current struggle is something unprecedented. You see, the number of homeless veterans are the highest they have ever been in the last seven years. The government knows this and is trying to lower the number, but situational troubles make the challenges harder to clear, yet there is some measure of progress as there are 46% less veterans unhoused, which is something to celebrate. However, the number of veterans that are currently living on the streets is still high and hard to calculate the exact number.
Stephen Peck, the president of U.S. VETS, a nonprofit that provides housing and employment assistance to homeless veterans has much to say about the situation: “It seems to us there is no longer an emphasis and determination to get every veteran off the streets,”.
Understanding the challenges the government faces while enduring this crisis is paramount to understanding the issue of homelessness. Peck continues: “There has been a tendency to look for a single fix. .. I think it’s critical that we provide those more intensive services.” The end goal is to effectively eradicate homelessness for veterans and not veterans alike. Veterans are able to receive services that have helped them escape homelessness and these governmental projects have helped shave the numbers but not the entire climate. At a Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing Jan. 17, VA Secretary David Shulkin reiterated that ““We need to do this better,” Shulkin said. “We have to rethink our effort. We need to double down on things that work and come up with a fresh approach here. I’m not satisfied with the progress we’re making.”
This is a start that is transforming the problem from the inside out. When you put compassion in your cause, transformation begins.
You can find more information at https://taskandpurpose.com/va-obstacles-veteran-homelessness/