LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough established new goals in VA’s efforts to prevent and end homelessness among Veterans.

During his visit, Feb. 25, McDonough participated in the local Point-in-Time Count and announced the following action being taken in the Greater Los Angeles (GLA) area: 

  • Placing at least 1,500 Veterans experiencing homelessness into permanent housing, which would represent a greater than 10% increase in permanent housing placements since calendar year 2021.
  • Increasing the percentage of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers under lease to at least 75%, which would represent the highest voucher utilization rate since 2018.
  • Increasing to 50% the percentage of Veterans admitted to HUD-VASH who are housed within 90 days.

Reaching these goals in the calendar year 2022 would mark GLA’s best outcomes helping Veterans exit homelessness and remain in stable housing in several years and would represent a clear and substantial improvement on Veteran homelessness locally.

“The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and our partners have a shared belief that all Veterans deserve a place to call home,” said the authority’s Executive Director Heidi Marston. “We are eager to support VA in its effort to provide permanent and stable homes for 1,500 Veterans.”

In October, after seeing a homeless Veteran encampment on San Vicente Boulevard, near the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, McDonough set a goal to house 500 Veterans by the end of 2021. The VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System exceeded that goal through a variety of temporary, transitional, and permanent housing programs. Veterans also enrolled in supportive programs that help with the transition to permanent housing.

To increase housing stock dedicated to Veterans experiencing homelessness, VA and HUD will support the state of California and Project Homekey by committing available HUD-VASH vouchers to housing projects awarded throughout the state. There are more than 5,000 HUD-VASH vouchers currently available for use in California. This approach creates new housing stock for Veterans while addressing the underutilization of this valuable resource that makes market-rate housing affordable for eligible Veterans.

“Due to significant investments from Congress in the last three years, we have substantial resources to invest in homeless prevention,” McDonough said. “We also have proven strategies that have not only decreased the number of homeless Veterans but also prevented Veterans and their families from experiencing homelessness in the first place. What remains is the energy and effort needed to finish the job. These initiatives will help us get there.”  

Nationally, VA and its community partners will place at least 38,000 Veterans experiencing homelessness into permanent housing in the calendar year 2022. This represents an increase of more than 10% over the number of Veterans placed in permanent housing in 2021.

The number of Veterans experiencing homelessness in the U.S. has declined by nearly half since 2010 with more than 920,000 Veterans and their family members permanently housed or prevented from becoming homeless since then.

Veterans experiencing homelessness should visit their local VA medical center for assistance. Find the nearest VA medical center. For immediate assistance, contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET or 877-424-3838.


Leave a comment

Leave a Reply