Veteran’s Day is a time to honor the service and sacrifice of the many men and women who served in the United States military. The best way we at the Alliance believe we can do that is by ensuring that every single one of these men and women and their families have a warm and safe place to call home.
Five years ago, the White House and the Department of Veterans Affairs issued a challenge to the nation: end veteran homelessness. Since that day, the Obama administration, Congress, as well as local and community partners, and stakeholders like the Alliance have been hard at work to improve and invest in programs and system changes that will house our heroes. Nationally, we are seeing results. According to the 2014 Point-in-Time Count, the number of homeless veterans has dropped 33 percent since that challenge was issued.
Every day, homeless service providers across America input a plethora of data into their community’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). This information contains a wealth of information on the homeless population who accesses services, and it can answer a lot of questions about our nation’s sheltered homeless population.
For example: How many people access shelters during a year? What are the demographic characteristics of this population? How long do people experiencing homelessness tend to stay in shelter or transitional housing?
How often do homeless service professionals in the U.S. get the opportunity to travel to a foreign country to learn about best practices?
Until recently, the answer to that question was “almost never.” Now, thanks to a partnership between the Alliance, Homeless Link, and the Oak Foundation, five motivated mid-level homeless assistance professionals will get the chance to learn about a practice area in the United Kingdom.
A chronically homeless person costs the tax payer an average of $35,578 per year. This study shows how costs on average are reduced by 49.5% when they are placed in supportive housing. Supportive housing costs on average $12,800, making the net savings roughly $4,800 per year.Congress can enact bipartisan solutions to finally end chronic homelessness by 2017. To make this happen, Congress must increase funding for HUD’s Homeless Assistance account by $414 million to $2.664 billion total, as requested by the budget.
In the United States, there may be as many as 10 million people who experience domestic violence every year. Unfortunately, since homelessness and domestic violence are inextricably linked, some of these households will experience homelessness.
Since October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it’s a good time to take stock of the scope of domestic violence in America and what our shelters can do to help households fleeing abuse. This topic is important to all emergency shelters (not just domestic violence shelters), as domestic violence survivors tend to end up in a variety of shelters.