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Veteran homelessness declines in West Virginia

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WEST VIRGINIA – As part of the national movement to end veteran homelessness, local communities have reported a 4.4-percent drop this year in homelessness among veterans in West Virginia, according to a new national estimate announced today by U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson. Last year, HUD reported a 4.2-percent decrease in veteran homelessness in the state.

In the U.S., HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report finds the total number of reported veterans experiencing homelessness in 2018 decreased 5.4 percent since last year, falling to nearly half of the number of homeless veterans reported in 2010. View local estimates of veteran homelessness.

“We owe it to our veterans to make certain they have a place to call home,” said HUD Secretary Carson. “We’ve made great strides in our efforts to end veteran homelessness, but we still have a lot of work to do to ensure those who wore our nation’s uniform have access to stable housing.”

The decrease in veteran homelessness can largely be attributed to the effectiveness of the HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, which combines permanent HUD rental assistance with case management and clinical services provided by the VA. Last year alone, more than 4,000 veterans, many experiencing chronic forms of homelessness, found permanent housing and critically needed support services through the HUD-VASH program. An additional 50,000 veterans found permanent housing and supportive services through VA’s continuum of homeless programs.

“In West Virginia, communities are making real progress in reducing veteran homelessness,” said Joe DeFelice, Regional Administrator of HUD’s Mid-Atlantic region. “The data shows the numbers are dropping steadily at 4 percent. Last month, we announced $39,000 in HUD-VASH funding that will continue to support local efforts.”

“In Home, Together, the new federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, we redouble our commitment to ending homelessness among veterans and among all Americans,” said Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. “Working together at the federal, state and local level, we can and will continue to make progress until all Americans have a stable home from which they can pursue opportunity.”

Each year, thousands of local communities around the country conduct one-night ‘Point-in-Time’ estimates of the number of persons experiencing homelessness—in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and in unsheltered locations.  This year’s estimate finds 37,878 veterans experienced homelessness in January 2018, compared to 40,020 reported in January 2017.  HUD estimates among the total number of reported veterans experiencing homelessness in 2018, 23,312 veterans were found in sheltered settings while volunteers counted 14,566 veterans living in places not meant for human habitation.

To date, 64 local communities and three states (Virginia, Connecticut and Delaware) have declared an effective end to veteran homelessness, creating systems to ensure that a veteran’s homelessness is rare, brief, and one-time.  Read more.

HUD and VA have a wide range of programs that prevent and end homelessness among veterans, including health care, housing solutions, job training , and education. Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless should contact their local VA Medical Center and ask to speak to a homeless coordinator or call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 1-877-4AID-VET.



Tyler Barker

Tyler Barker is currently the Interim News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. I was promoted to this job in Mid-November. I still will fill in on weather from time to time. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at tbarker@woay.com


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