Why Are 40,000+ Veterans Homeless

On a single night in January 2011, 67,495 homeless Veterans spent the night on the
streets of America.
An estimated 144,842 Veterans spent at least one night in an emergency shelter or
transitional housing program in one recent year.
Many other Veterans are considered at risk of homelessness because of poverty, lack of
support from family and friends, substance use or mental health issues, and precarious
living conditions.
VA is the only federal agency that provides substantial hands-on assistance directly to
Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Each year, VA’s specialized homelessness programs provide health care to almost
150,000 homeless Veterans and other services to more than 112,000 Veterans.
More than 40,000 homeless Veterans receive compensation or pension benefits each
Although they are limited to Veterans and their dependents, VA’s major homeless
programs constitute the largest integrated network of homeless assistance programs in
the country.
Here is Help
The Six Pillars of the Homeless Initiative
VA’s initiative, from the Secretary’s office to local communities, is guided by six pillars:
Community Partnerships A network of more than 2,418 shelters, soup kitchens, and
other community partners around the United States are providing the services Veterans
need to stay in their homes or get back on their feet. Combined with other community
organizations, there are over 4,000 community groups working to serve our homeless
Income/Employment/Benefits VA has put more than 370 currently or formerly
homeless Veterans to work across the country as Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists
who assist about 40,000 fellow Veterans annually.
Housing/Supportive Services Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD), homeless Veterans are provided with Section
8 “Housing Choice Vouchers” by HUD under the HUD-VASH Program. VA provides
case management services through the HUD-VASH and Grant-Per-Diem programs.
Outreach/Education VA works on the ground in communities to raise the awareness of
Veterans and their support networks about services such as 1-877-4AID-VET, VA’s
24/7 hotline to support Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Prevention VA provides grants to community groups that assist Veterans who are
homeless or at risk of homelessness and their families as well in maintaining permanent
Treatment VA supports Veterans who need a range of medical, psychiatric, vocational,