“As of the last, official count, about 578,424 people experience homelessness on any given night in the United States,” according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Homeless veterans make up a substantial portion of that number.
In 2009, the Obama Administration committed to ending veteran homelessness in the U.S. by the end of 2015. His administration was not able to reach that goal, but there has been a 33 percent decrease in the number of homeless veterans.
Although the number of homeless veterans has decreased since 2010, there are still roughly 49,933 homeless veterans in America, according to the national estimate released by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH).
Our country has a long way to go to get rid of the veteran homeless epidemic once and for all. While we aren’t nearly there, yet, there are great organizations working around the clock to offer housing, health care, and employment assistance to our country’s homeless veterans.
The following resources are available to homeless veterans and their families. If you yourself or someone you know is already homeless or at risk of homelessness reach out to one of these organizations for help.
Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has resources to help people who are literally homeless, at serious risk of homelessness, anyone fleeing from domestic violence. HUD helps over 1 million people every year by supplying emergency, transitional, or permanent housing solutions to people in need. They have a special focus for helping homeless veterans as well.
Free financial counseling services are available through HUD offices. Veterans can reach out for free advice and counseling on buying a home, renting, defaulting on a mortgage, foreclosure avoidance, credit problems, and even help with reverse mortgages.
To get help with any of these housing issues, you can call (800) 569-4287 FREE or search for the nearest approved housing counseling agency.
Local homeless assistance is available for veterans through your nearest HUD office. Call the HUDVET National Hotline at (877) 424-3838 FREE for around the clock assistance, or view the resources for homeless veterans on the HUD Exchange.
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV)
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which is based out of Washington D.C. and run by a 23-member board of directors. The NCHV acts as a “resource and technical assistance center for a national network of community-based service providers and local, state and federal agencies.” They work to bridge the gap in care from the 60% of homeless veterans that Veterans Affairs is not able to help each year. They do this by providing emergency and transitional support housing, food, healthcare, job training and placement assistance, legal aid and case management support for hundreds of thousands of homeless veterans each year.
Use the NCHV website to help locate a community-based help center to access these resources or get immediate help.
The Salvation army offers homeless and housing services to veterans (and all people in need) in the form of group homes, emergency shelters, and transitional living centers, They provide food and lodging for varying amounts of time depending on need. They also provide education services, counseling help, and vocation assistance.
For more information for yourself or a friend, you’ll be able to find specific program information by contacting your local Salvation Army Corps Community Center.
United Way Worldwide
The United Way offers confidential services to help veterans and their families to combat homelessness by using their resources to make sure that veterans have enough to eat and a place to stay.
Reach out to their helpline by simply calling 2-1-1. United Way’s hotline is 100 percent free and confidential.
The VA works in partnerships with federal, state and local agencies as well as faith-based and community nonprofit organizations to help offer housing assistance, health care, and community employment services to our country’s veterans experiencing homelessness.
Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless can get help at their local VA medical center or Community resource and referral center.
The HUD-VASH program assists homeless veterans with a service-connected disability rating.
Learn more about how VA Programs for homeless veterans are committed to ending veteran homelessness and offering other assistance options.
Veterans and their families may also access VA services by calling the following toll-free number: 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838).
Too many veterans of our armed forces members are still on the streets or in homeless shelters. We need to to our best ensure that there are not any homeless veterans left in our country. Veteran homelessness is a problem that we can all work towards remedying together. Our veterans fought for us, it’s our turn to fight for them.
One way to help fight this epidemic is to get personally involved. If you know of any homeless veterans personally, reach out to the resources and organizations listed above and try to get that person the assistance they need.
Anyone can help by searching through the Homeless shelter directory to find the nearest location where they can volunteer. Donate food to your local food pantry. When the shelves are kept stocked by the community, shelters are able to refocus their available funds on other resources for the homeless.
Also, look at the map of cities whose mayors have signed on with Michelle Obama to help end homelessness among veterans. If your city is not listed, reach out to your mayor and encourage them through phone calls, emails, and letter campaigns to become part of the solution for ending homelessness.
Our country is headed in the right direction to combat homelessness in our veteran community, but we still have a long way to go, and many more veterans to help. Our homeless veterans deserve better than sleeping on the streets.
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Michael Laporta says
I am an 80 year old disabled veteran facing eviction. My landlord has retaliated against me, stole my camera that was protecting my car from vandalism, made false police reports and has not maintained the property. I was denied a service dog and handicapped parking, while the day care downstairs has a dog living on the premises. He will moot make reasonable accommodations for me or my disabled wife. So we can recoup estate after surgery.
Catherine Workman says
I was asked a question by a vet. Today and I am ashamed I could not help. I was at the V.A. Hospital in Jax. Fl. Waiting to give a stop. A ride home after her medical treatment.
I am an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary, he asked do you help the homeless? I had no answer accept try Trinity rescue mission located in downtown Jacksonville. trinity is an excellent place for help and drug addiction. I would like to have more information so I can help when somebody asked a question about a home they need. The men serving this country and women deserve Respect in a home.
Wendy Ard says
My family is headed by a veteran and we have 3 kids and we live in our van all this talk about the VA helpingis nothing but talk they are taking the money that goes to house veterans and putting it in their pockets. Fort Walton Beach Florida is the worse place for a veteran to be and others that say they help homeless veterans and their families lie and say that they have helped and never done a thing to help the person in question
Turkeisa Rushin says
Hello. I have a personal care home in Ga. I have 2 beds opening in august.
Daniel Roberts says
I’m a homeless veteran, went to local VA clinic and spoke with the VA person in charge of the hud voucher program through hud. I was told that all the vouchers were currently being used by other vets. Ok, but in the next breath, he asked if I was native or Indian because he said they had some of those available. I’m obviously a white Irishman. Housing discrimination at its core?
Mark Farmer says
Your example confirms that our government shamelessly discriminates by picking which color of your skin is a winner and who is a loser. What we need is a VA that will take your name and never stop, never, until your housing needs are met. VA should take some pride in changing their mission. Their mission seems to be limited all too often by flawed government programs. They can and should work on your behalf with every public, private and charitable program out there. And take full ownership of YOU, our deserving veteran. Where would all of us be if not for all the brave people in our military?
yes im homeless
I called the VA and told them I needed proof of income letter within 10 days or I lose my home of22 years .Well today I’m homeless thanks to the delartmetofVeterans Affairs and they don’t think that they owe me anything r u kidding me .Our whole gone in day because we couldn’t show proof of income I asked chase for one more day but that was to much to ask for
Niko Qaddadeh says
I know how you are feeling. I lost my home 7 months ago, and it was a rude awakening to find out that although every single agency wanted everything from me, and promised to help, they have done nothing. This includes, VetConnect, Veterans Resources, VA, Salvation Army, and every other city, state, federal, private, and so called charity. I am told that because the majority of my work is 1099, I don’t qualify. I have pets, so I don’t qualify. I am not a drunk, druggie, or criminal so I don’t qualify. This is reality.
elias ogorman says
hello this is Elias O’Gorman and i want to help start a program that can help veterans with teyre suffering and stop suicide
I am always sad when I hear that someone who was ready to give his life for this country is homeless. This country spends money for refugees and their social program, and those people don’t even want to try to work.