Why are there still homeless Veterans? The answers are as individual as the Vets. Sometimes homelessness is short term, due to job loss or problems keeping up with bills, divorce, or other family changes. Other times homelessness is chronic - as substance abuse and mental illness go untreated. Many Veterans have burned their support bridges and no longer have a couch to crash on or a friend willing to buy them groceries.
VA has made a significant dent in reducing the number of homeless Vets. Here in DC, the fifty member staff of our VA Medical Center's Homeless Programs Office has housed over 950 Veterans since 2008. Annually we hold a service day for homeless and at-risk Vets called Winterhaven. On Saturday, Jan. 12, 651 Veterans received services at this year's Winterhaven. From HIV tests to dental check-ups, benefits counseling to employment services, we had it covered.
If you know a Vet at-risk for homelessness, please urge him or her to contact the VA Medical Center...because no one who served our country should sleep in the street.