Vouchers and Housing First Key in Progress To Date
President Obama has set the goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. While this is an ambitious and admirable goal, some experts who have worked with homeless veterans have expressed their concerns about the goal.
“Veterans who are homeless can actually get a voucher and go into the private market to get somewhere to live” and Housing First is “Getting vets directly into housing instead of making them live in shelters or transitional living facilities.”
Castro’s remarks make the case for increased Housing Choice Voucher funding and homelessness assistance funding for Housing First and other proven initiatives. What works for homeless veterans can also work for the larger homeless population.
Peck is realistic about the challenges in ending veterans homelessness.
“So many vets who are homeless today, or on the verge of homelessness are not seeking us out due to pride or embarrassment, or the stigma associated with admitting mental illness. The complications that lead someone down the path toward homelessness are numerous, and sometimes misunderstood.
We are dealing with a societal issue that has been long in the making and putting a five- year time limit to fix this problem is unrealistic and sets up programmatic expectations that are unrealistic and potentially detrimental in the long run.”
Peck encourages us to keep working on ending homelessness. “We have to be prepared to work on this until it’s done. There is no finish line.”