Veterans Village offering affordable housing to veterans
Veterans Village President Dana Spain on their efforts to address rising homelessness among veterans
The Department of Veterans affairs set a new record for the number of veterans placed in permanent housing in 2023, putting over 46,000 people in permanent homes.
The total of 46,552 veterans housed beats their goal of 38,000 placements by a whopping 23%, according to a report from Military.com.
The VA said that 96% of veterans that were placed in homes in 2023 have remained there, while the 1,919 veterans who returned to homelessness are still in the process of being helped by the agency.
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Douglas Bue, 65, pushes his wheelchair to his tent next to a homeless encampment outside the West L.A. Veterans Affairs facilities. (Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
The mark sets a new record for the VA, which worked with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help get more veterans off the streets, according to the report.
But the record also comes as the VA said last month that the number of veterans who fell into homelessness rose 7.4% from 2022, when there were 35,574 homeless veterans.
The reason for the increase is unknown, McDonough said, noting that the VA is looking for solutions.
“We just don’t know for sure,” McDonough said of the reasons for the increase, according to the report. “We think that a lot of [the pandemic] impact will have been accounted for in the numbers we saw last year. … We’ll hopefully get more data by the end of the summer.”
The US Department of Veterans Affairs building is seen in Washington, DC, on July 22, 2019. (Photo credit should read ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP via Getty Image)
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Despite the rise last year, rates of homelessness for veterans have steadily fallen since 2010, when there were 76,000 homeless veterans on the streets or in hotels. Overall, the number of homeless veterans has fallen 52% since 2010 and 4% since 2020, the report noted.
Monica Díaz, executive director of the VA Homeless Programs Office, expressed optimism that the agency can continue to battle the problem, telling reporters this week that the VA believes “veteran homelessness is solvable”
“We know what works… and we have the right tools to do the job,” Diaz said during the press conference,” Díaz said.
The VA has not set a new housing goal yet for 2024, according to the report, though Díaz noted that the agency is ready if demand increases again.
Homeless encampment on Logan st. between 17th Ave. and 18th Ave. in Denver, Colorado. (Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)
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“Each number represents renewed new hope, dignity and a future full of possibility for many of our veterans, thanks to the dedication of thousands of staff and partners nationwide,” Diaz said.
The VA did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.