End to Veterans Homelessness is in Sight

But What About Homeless Families?

End to Veterans Homelessness is in SightIn a November 11, 2014 post, Washington Post blogger, Robert Samuels writes, “The country will soon have no homeless veterans. So why are there still homeless families?

The rapid decrease in veteran’s homelessness has received a great deal of media and political attention over the past few months. But at the same time, as an example, Washington DC has seen in increase in family homelessness – a 41% increase since 2011.

“So why has the country been so successful in bringing down homelessness with one segment of the population and not with another? It boils down to two things: morality and money.”

Asks Samuels.

“More organizations are willing to help veterans because ‘there’s a tremendous amount of public and political will to do this because we believe we owe veterans for serving our country,’ Roman said. Officials are less likely to question whether a vet is relying too much on the government for support. Compare that to a single mother who did not finish college and has struggled to find work.”

Said Nan Roman, President and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) on the difference in perception of the homeless veterans and homeless families.

An increase in funding for housing vouchers for homeless veterans and the prevalence of disabilities among the homeless veteran population, which makes them more likely, to be eligible for permanent supportive housing has made the targeted decrease easier.

“What works to end veteran homelessness is, by and large, the same as what will work to end other kinds of homelessness– a connection to permanent housing as soon as possible with the basic supportive services that people need to thrive.”

Said Jack McGuire, a spokesperson for the organization Community Solutions.

“Among advocates, the larger hope is that ending veterans homelessness will motivate federal and local agencies to devote even more attention and money to ending family homelessness.”

Concludes Samuels.

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