America’s veterans have been suffering for decades. Our nation’s epidemic of chronic veteran homelessness is an issue that should have never become a reality for our nation’s heroes. However after the Obama administration released a report on Monday, it appears that our country is finally making moves to end this terrible problem. The released report announced that since 2010 veteran homelessness has decreased by 47 percent. The amount of unsheltered veterans has also dropped by more than half.
“The most recent point-in-time count report really reflects the progress that is being made in addressing what has been unfortunately a real fixture in our community’s landscape for unfortunately years and years and years.”
Thomas O’Toole, the director of the US Department of Veteran Affairs’ National Center on Homelessness among Veterans, tells The Christian Science Monitor. “Really to be able to see the ongoing progress that’s being made, I think speaks to good policy and good implementation of that policy.”
This past Monday, President Obama made a speech whole at the Disabled American Veterans annual meeting.
President Obama called the nation’s commitment to ending veteran homelessness, a “sacred covenant.”
“I don’t use those words lightly. It’s sacred because there is no more solemn request than to ask someone to risk their life, to be ready to give their life on our behalf,” he said.
The nation’s current strategy to ending veteran homelessness is multi-faceted. Naturally temporary as well as permanent housing options is of the utmost importance however additional services are also mandatory such as mental health care and addiction services in order to help homeless vets avoid ever becoming homeless again.
“This is really looking at not just managing homelessness but moving homeless veterans into permanent housing and keeping them in that permanent housing with case management and case support,” Mr. O’Toole says. “That represents, I think, a significant change.”