Sheltering Our Homeless Veterans


It is estimated that 75,000 veterans are sleeping on the streets on a given night, and about 135,000 have spent at least one night in a shelter, according to recent surveys. This fall, there are 28 communities across the nation, including San Francisco, St. Louis and Miami, that are looking to combat this trend. Special programs will work to highlight the issue and give more aid to homeless veterans in need, as well as provide resources to veterans’ families and those at risk of becoming homeless.

The “Make the Call” campaign is part of the Veterans Administration’s push to eliminate veteran homelessness by 2015. These local programs will explore veteran homelessness and encourage community members and military families to assist those in need by contacting the VA.

The VA will offer a broad range of aid programs, including healthcare for homeless veterans, healthcare and other services for veterans exiting prison, information on programs like Veteran Stand Downs, Drop-In Centers, and the VA’s Homeless Veteran Dental Assistance Program.

This new plan to tackle veteran homelessness is a much needed improvement from past programs, which relied primarily on providing temporary housing solutions. Today, the focus is on prevention and finding permanent housing for those in need.

In the VA’s Compensated Work Therapy program, homeless veterans earn pay while learning new job skills, relearning successful work habits and regaining a sense of self-esteem and self-worth

The VA’s call center for homeless veterans, staffed around the clock by trained professionals, is 877-4AID-VET (or 877-424-3838). For a full list of the new campaign’s cities and start dates, visit the VA’s Public and Intergovernmental Affairs page.


Photo thanks to Tattooed JJ under creative commons license on Flickr.

7 thoughts on “Sheltering Our Homeless Veterans”

  1. Most homeless shelter in fla will,give the bed to a vet first.any homeless vet needs to go to the unemployment offices an ask the va person in charge to help,ours does in port charlotte.

  2. =( Get ready for more homeless vets. The Army is downsizing drastically. The war in Iraq is “ending”. Some of the future homeless may be my battle buddies right now. I do not want to see that. What is being done right now is not enough. Sad, but true.

  3. This is a national Discrace. When we send our men and woman to war we have a moral oblication to bring them home, make them whole and care for them until they are as go as when they left. Shame on us.

  4. iam a homeless vet been waiting for compensation from inhaling asbestoes dust longbeach naval shipyard in1979 to1980 will proably die homeless before any compensation comes my way tired of couch surfing so is my family .

  5. I came home after two years in Vietnam and Laos to massive unemployment and indifference to Veterans in 1972. I wasn’t spit on when I got to SF airport. I was ignored. Unemployment was endemic then as now. Veterans were a dime a dozen as well. We are just the detritus of war swept under the carpet. Now, 40 years later and dying from Hepatitis C and AO, I see a new wave of the same thing. Homelessness, unemployment, and indifference are soon going to be the norm again. Americans will eventually grow tired of the Tet offensives and the Kabul quagmires. They will become deaf and blind again to the Vet’s plight. The flag waving will subside except for one day in November and those who championed our cause will drift on to others. We are condemned to this as surely as death and taxes. Witness the virtual refusal of the VHA to even investigate the link between jetguns used in vaccinations to the Hepatitis C outbreak. If you went in between 64 and 78, you are 67% more likely to have it. Vietnam Vets are the highest percentage yet the VBA continues to find it merely “plausible”. Afghan and Iraqi Vets are in for a shock some day in the future when the VA starts telling them there is no correlation between some disease they come down with and their service in that theatre. America is doomed to repeat this history about every fifty years judging from what I see now. I pray every night I’m wrong.

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