Is There a Risk in Prioritizing Ending Veterans Homelessness

Are We Giving Up on Ending All Homelessness?

John Joel RobertsA July 25, 2014, Huffington Post blog post by John Joel Roberts raises an important question, “Prioritizing Homeless Veterans: Are We Giving Up on Ending All Homelessness.”

Roberts chronicles the trends in ending homelessness in the United States over the past 15 years. In 2000, a national organization working to end homelessness set the goal of ending homelessness in the country. At that time, there were 700,000 homeless individuals in the U.S.

Then in 2002, the federal government set out to end chronic homelessness. And by 2010, the number of homeless was decreasing.

In 2010, the federal government vowed to end veteran and chronic homelessness by 2015 and family homelessness by 2020. And now First Lady Michelle Obama is leading a “new push” to end veterans homelessness.

“But what about the other non-veteran-homeless persons? What about those homeless veterans who do not qualify for VA benefits? And what about everyone else who are not veterans?”

Writes Roberts.

In 2013, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that homelessness in America totaled 610,042 – a 4% drop from 2014.

“But if you compare this number with the 700,000 in 2000, the number of homeless in America was reduced by 90,000 people in a span of 13 years. At this rate, we would end homelessness in 88 years.

I wonder if such dismal projections, and the fact that this country is narrowing its goals to a smaller segment of the entire homeless population, means that this country has given up on ending homelessness for all Americans?”

Writes Robert.

Although we do not fully agree with his analysis we do believe that his question needs to be fully debated.

Click here for the full post.