Veterans Attorney Jim Fausone Comments on VA’s Goal of Ending Veteran Homelessness
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) December 30, 2015 – The Department of Veterans Affairs and the government are likely to fall short of their goal of eliminating veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.
According to a report released on Nov. 19, the Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates there were nearly 48,000 homeless veterans across the United States as of Jan. 2015. The number marks a 4 percent drop from 2014, but a decline of more than 27,000 people since 2010.
Officials said that missing the goal should not take away from the significant progress that has been made since the target was originally set in 2010. They also claimed the number of homeless veterans has likely dropped even further since the count was logged 11 months ago.
“In order to eradicate the problem for good, the VA should address the root causes of veteran homelessness, such as mental health and employment,” said Jim Fausone, a Michigan veterans attorney. “The ultimate goal of the VA’s homelessness prevention initiatives should be to ensure veterans have the opportunity to lead independent lives rather than simply being given government-sponsored homes.”
The latest numbers indicate veterans comprise about 10 percent of the adult homeless population. They are also more than twice as likely to become homeless as the rest of the population.
A variety of factors contribute to chronic veteran homelessness, including mental health issues such as PTSD, trouble with reintegrating into civilian life and difficulty in finding quality employment.
However, White House and VA officials are confident that the goal of ending veteran homelessness is realistic. In November, Virginia became the first state to officially end chronic veteran homelessness. They predicted more states will soon follow. Michigan currently has 1,067 homeless veterans, which make up between 1 to 2.9 percent of the nation’s total.
In 2014 the VA spent around $1.5 billion on veteran homelessness, according to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs staff. The estimate shows that the amount has skyrocketed from around $376 million in 2009. However, thousands of veterans are still on the streets.
“VA spending on housing initiatives has outpaced the overall reduction in veteran homelessness, which raises questions about the effectiveness of the VA’s strategy,” said Fausone. “Although progress has been made, the country still has a long way to go in ending veteran homelessness. Continued focus and urgency are needed to solve the problem permanently.”Learn more at http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC 41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101 Northville, MI 48168 Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800