U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Joe DeFelice announced today that veteran homelessness in Pennsylvania decreased 12.7 percent in 2019, with 125 more veterans now having a roof over their heads. According to HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report, the total number of reported veterans experiencing homelessness in the nation continues to decline.
“In Pennsylvania, we’ve made great strides over the years in our efforts to end veteran homelessness, with the commonwealth estimate dropping 40.5 percent since 2010,” said Regional Administrator DeFelice. “We will continue to collaborate with our state, local and federal partners to make progress because one homeless veteran is one too many.”
Each year, thousands of local communities around the country conduct one-night “point-in-time” estimates of the number of people experiencing homelessness—in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and in unsheltered locations. This year’s estimate finds 37,085 veterans experienced homelessness in January 2019, compared to 37,878 reported in January 2018. HUD estimates among the total number of reported veterans experiencing homelessness in 2019, 22,740 veterans were found in sheltered settings while volunteers counted 14,345 veterans living in places not meant for human habitation.
These declines are the result of intense planning and targeted interventions, including the close collaboration between HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Both agencies jointly administer the HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, which combines permanent HUD rental assistance with case management and clinical services provided by the VA. HUD-VASH is complemented by a continuum of VA programs that use modern tools and technology to identify the most vulnerable Veterans and rapidly connect them to the appropriate interventions to become and remain stably housed. This year, more than 11,000 veterans—many experiencing chronic forms of homelessness—found permanent housing and critically needed support services through the HUD-VASH program.
To date, 78 local communities and three states (Virginia, Connecticut and Delaware) have declared an effective end to veteran homelessness, creating systems to ensure a veteran’s homelessness is rare, brief, and one-time.
HUD and VA have a wide range of programs that prevent and end homelessness among veterans, including health care, housing solutions, job training and education. Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless should contact their local VA Medical Center and ask to speak to a homeless coordinator or call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 1-877-4AID-VET.