The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has declared big plans to combat the issue of homelessness among veterans.
They aim to provide housing for at least 38,000 veterans in 2023.
To make this possible, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is getting ready to give out $3.1 billion through a program called the Continuum of Care (COC).
This money will help fight homelessness for everyone, and some of it will go to the VA to be used at its local medical centers.
This is the largest amount of money given in a single year to the COC program.
This program works with community groups, nonprofits, and local governments to help people without homes.
The VA also announced they will give more than $11 million in grants to public groups and nonprofits.
These grants will help fund a new program that offers legal help to veterans who are at risk of eviction or dealing with child support cases and other legal problems.
The VA Secretary, Denis McDonough, mentioned that veterans often struggle with homelessness due to legal issues.
Therefore, helping veterans with these legal problems will significantly impact the fight against veteran homelessness.
He explained that legal support could make the difference between a veteran becoming homeless or having a stable, safe house.
Another $58 million in grant money will help veterans rejoin the workforce.
This is part of a program that tries to get to the root causes of homelessness.
Last year, the VA was able to house more than 40,000 veterans, which exceeded the goal they had set for 2022.
Despite this progress, the number of homeless veterans in America is still a major concern. In 2022, around 33,136 veterans were homeless.
President Biden is trying to decrease homelessness by about 25 percent by 2025.
His proposed budget for 2024 includes more than $10 billion to fight homelessness, which is about a 6 percent increase from the last budget.
He promised during his State of the Union address to do more to help veterans and keep them housed.
A new initiative called “boot camp” will be launched. It aims to help veterans transition from homelessness to permanent housing quicker.
This program will offer services like learning job skills, participating in apprenticeships or on-the-job training, and getting placed in jobs.
The money being given to the COC program can be used in many ways, like for rental assistance, supportive services, or improving technology and data sharing.
This will all help veterans struggling with homelessness.
In addition to all this, a first-of-its-kind grant of $11.5 million will provide legal help to veterans.
This could assist veterans with landlord disputes, court proceedings like child support and custody, and even estate planning.
All these steps are taken with the firm belief that the term “homeless veteran” should not exist, and every veteran deserves a safe and stable home.
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