VA Launches Veteran Homelessness Outreach Campaign

WASHINGTON — As part of its dri­ve to end home­less­ness among vet­er­ans by 2015, the Vet­er­ans Affairs Depart­ment has launched an out­reach ini­tia­tive in 28 com­mu­ni­ties across the nation.

“Those who have served this nation as vet­er­ans should nev­er find them­selves on the streets, liv­ing with­out care and with­out hope,” VA Sec­re­tary Eric K. Shin­se­ki said in announc­ing the “Make the Call” ini­tia­tive.

Shin­se­ki not­ed that 28 com­mu­ni­ties � from Atlanta to Hawaii � will host spe­cial pro­grams this fall high­light­ing local ser­vices for home­less vet­er­ans, their fam­i­lies and those at risk of becom­ing home­less.

“Work­ing with our part­ners in state and local gov­ern­ment, the non­prof­it and the pri­vate sec­tors, we can restore our home­less vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies to the lives of dig­ni­ty they’ve earned,” Shin­se­ki added.

This fis­cal year, VA offi­cials said, the depart­ment expects to spend $3.4 bil­lion to pro­vide health care to home­less vet­er­ans and $800 mil­lion in spe­cial­ized home­less pro­grams, cit­ing stud­ies that say more than 75,000 vet­er­ans are home­less on a typ­i­cal night, and about 135,000 spend at least one night a year in a home­less shel­ter.

Since March 2010, VA has offered a toll-free tele­phone num­ber, staffed around the clock by trained pro­fes­sion­als, to help home­less vet­er­ans, their fam­i­lies and at-risk peo­ple. The num­ber is 877–4AID-VET, or 877–424-3838.

Recent­ly, VA has trans­formed the focus of its efforts from tem­po­rary, shel­ter-based ser­vices to pre­ven­tion, employ­ment, per­ma­nent hous­ing and help to fam­i­lies and vet­er­ans at risk of becom­ing home­less, offi­cials said.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)