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Politics / Veterans News

Number of Homeless Veterans Drops Under Trump, Continuing Trend from Obama Administration

homeless-veterans-trump-administrationThe Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is reporting a decrease in homeless veterans across the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, continuing a trend from the Obama administration.

HUD released numbers Thursday that showed the number of homeless veterans decreased from 40,020 in January 2017 to 37,878 in January 2018 — a 5.4-percent decrease.

 

Nikki Wentling@nikkiwentling

New veteran homelessness numbers released from @HUDgov today: 37,878 veterans were homeless in January 2018, down from 40,020 in January 2017. https://www.hud.gov/press/press_releases_media_advisories/HUD_No_18_132 

The number of homeless veterans in the country also dropped by nearly half since 2010, and homelessness among female veterans fell by nearly 10 percent.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson praised the drop in homelessness, stating, “We owe it to our veterans to make certain they have a place to call home. We’ve made great strides in our efforts to end veteran homelessness, but we still have a lot of work to do to ensure those who wore our nation’s uniform have access to stable housing.”

HUD claims its HUD-VA Supportive Housing Program, which seeks to connect veterans with permanent housing situations, is primarily responsible for the drop.

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans told Stars & Stripes’ Nikki Wentling that they are happy with the decrease but think HUD could’ve done better. They alleged that veteran homelessness is not a top priority of the Trump administration.

Nikki Wentling@nikkiwentling

New veteran homelessness numbers released from @HUDgov today: 37,878 veterans were homeless in January 2018, down from 40,020 in January 2017. https://www.hud.gov/press/press_releases_media_advisories/HUD_No_18_132 

Nikki Wentling@nikkiwentling

Spoke with @NCHVorg. They’re pleased with the decrease, but think it could’ve been better with more national attention. “As homelessness fell off the secretary’s priority list with the change of administration, it’s becoming more challenging to motivate people to do the work.”

Homelessness among veterans increased under Obama during his first and last year in office but decreased every other year. At the start of Obama’s presidency, 73,367 veterans were reportedly experiencing homelessness.

It is difficult to get a completely accurate count of homelessness, but HUD provides its estimate based on reporting from shelters and local communities.

Reprinted with permission from The Daily Caller - by Amber Athey

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