About the Initiative
About the Initiative
“[W]e’re not going to rest until every Veteran who has fought for America has a home in America.”
— Present Barack Obama, August 2014
In 2010, the White House and VA issued a plan to end Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. Together with partners and supporters nationwide, VA launched the Ending Veteran Homelessness initiative, an unprecedented effort to make sure Veterans are able to obtain permanent housing and that Veterans at risk of homelessness remain housed.
This initiative has been successful so far. According to the 2014 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count, the number of Veterans who are homeless is down by 33 percent since 2010.
Steady progress has been made, but there is more work to do to address the many causes of homelessness among Veterans. These include poverty, insufficient access to reasonably priced housing, isolation from family or friends and substance use or mental health challenges that may develop or worsen as a result of service-related trauma.
VA is engaging in partnerships to expand access to meaningful employment, affordable housing and move-in essentials, which help newly housed Veterans make their house a home. VA also strives to meet the needs of Veterans by providing various services that help Veterans secure housing and achieve self-sufficiency. These services include:
All of this work is guided by the Housing First approach, which is based on the premise that when Veterans have a place to call home, they’re best able to benefit from the services they need.
Everyone Counts in the Fight to End Homelessness
Thanks in part to key strategic partnerships, investments and adoption of best practices like Housing First, the goal of a systemic end to Veteran homelessness is within reach. This is achieved when the PIT Count identifies zero Veterans who are unsheltered and no more than 12,500 Veterans awaiting permanent housing in temporary shelters or transitional housing.
VA leaders and staff actively participate as volunteers in the annual PIT Count, an effort led by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to estimate the number of Americans—including Veterans—experiencing homelessness. The PIT Count takes place annually in communities across the country during the last 10 days of January. It assesses progress in alleviating homelessness during the previous year. Learn more.
VA is committed to reaching the milestone of ending homelessness among Veterans. Sustaining this accomplishment will require continued investment in effective interventions to prevent homelessness among Veterans and rapidly re-house those who become homeless, relentless outreach to Veterans in need and strong collaborations among government, employers and community-based entities.
Learn more about VA’s homeless programs and get involved. Take part in an upcoming event to assist Veterans who are homeless.
If you know a Veteran who is homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless, refer him or her to a local VA Medical Center, where homeless coordinators are ready to help. Veterans and their families can also call 1-877-4AID-VET to be connected to VA services.