Thursday, June 10, 2010
Because I know the OpenHouse readership are big fans of America's Got Talent, I’m sure you all saw one of the show’s more powerful performances last week, where a group of formerly homeless vets spread the word—in perfect harmony—about an issue we don’t talk about much in our country: veteran homelessness.
Apparently, the Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) were watching the performance too.
The next day, last Thursday, June 3, the two federal agencies announced that nearly 8,000 homeless veteran will receive permanent housing assistance through HUD’s Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH). HUD will provide $58.6 million in funding to local public housing agencies and partner with local VA Medical Centers to identify and help the eligible participants.
“Though they served and sacrificed so much for our country, too many of our veterans find themselves on the streets and in homeless shelters,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said. “Thankfully, these vouchers will provide a more-permanent solution to housing and services these veterans need.”
According to the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans, 23 percent of the nation’s homeless population are vets. If that doesn’t make your heart sink, I don’t know what could.
HUD expects to announce more funding next month to provide 1,355 more rental vouchers. That's news we can all salute.