Number of Homeless Veterans Declines

Homelessness remains a serious problem, but the Department of Veteran’s Affairs is making some progress.

There are too many people who only spare a thought for the homeless around the holiday season, but at least it’s better than not sparing a thought at all. This year’s crop of momentary-attention-to-the-homeless stories does include one bit of good news, though: the number of U.S. veterans sleeping rough on our streets has gone down. The Portland Oregonian reports:

Eric Shinseki remains optimistic.

The Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs says the country remains on track to end homelessness among military veterans in 2015. He and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan told reporters Monday they’ve seen “clear and remarkable” progress in the agencies’ efforts to reduce such homelessness, while acknowledging there’s much more work to do.

Shinseki said his agency next year would triple its spending for community grants intended to prevent or reduce homelessness among veterans and their families. He said the VA will spend $300 million awarding competitive grants under the agency’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, which funds homeless beds in Portland and elsewhere.

This is good news, both in that progress has been made, and that further efforts are planned. The prevalence of veterans among America’s homeless population has always been a source of double shame: that anyone should have to suffer such privation in our country, and that so many of those should be people, mostly men, to whom the nation and the government owe a legal and moral debt of gratitude.

Sadly, neglect of veterans has been a problem with the American government since its founding. From Shays’ Rebellion to the Bonus Army, generation after generation of veterans has found themselves destitute and abandoned by the same government they had agreed to lay down their lives for. The fact that this shameful history is being reversed, even if it is one agonizing step at a time, is cause for both relief and pride in the hard work being done by Gen. Shinseki and his organization.

 

Photo—yummyporky/Flickr

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About the Editors

We're all in this together.

Comments

  1. ….but at least it’s better than not sparing a thought at all.

    I wish that Christmas and all the other holidays got banned – because such terrible excuses and faux sincerity would be reduced. It would also require people to think and not just be trendy! Fashion is a terrible thing and it’s not just the Prada that the devil wears.

    How many decades has the issue been down played, ignored, brushed aside? Maybe what needs comment on is the reasons for inertia and refusal, why so many years have passed – the reasons for that and even how to overcome such delay, inertia and indifference.

    To support the view that patronising attitudes and views around Christmas is to be praised is – Patronising to the Vets, their families, their kids, the people who are there helping them 24/7 365.

    Good news is relative – as are the moral and ethical codes people Choose to live by and be trendy with.

    The fact that this shameful history is being reversed, even if it is one agonizing step at a time, is cause for both relief and pride in the hard work being done by Gen.

    Oh someone did notice some issues and crammed them into the last sentence, rather than having it all up front – and then tried to hide them with some Ra-Ra Pom-Poms andf a cry of “Go Jets”. Haven’t seen that manoeuvre silliness since Penn State and the tearing down of that Brass Gargoyle to false reality.

Speak Your Mind

*