Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs: 27 July 2011
Crystal Nicely, Caregiver and Spouse of OEF veteran
Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
Heidi Golding, Principal Analyst, National Security Division, Congressional Budget Office
James Hosek, PhD, Senior Economist, RAND Corporation
Lorelei St. James, Director, Physical Infrastructure, Government Accountability Office Visit for Backlinks to Opening Statements
July 26, 2011 – The Department of Veterans Affairs today announced nearly $60 million in grants aimed at preventing homelessness among veterans and their families, with particular focus on veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced the awards, the first to be presented through VA’s new Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. The grants will go to 85 nonprofit organizations in 40 states and the District of Colombia to serve an estimated 22,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families.
“This new homeless prevention program will provide additional comprehensive support to veterans who have served honorably, and now find themselves in a downward spiral toward despair and homelessness,” Shinseki said. “This program expands our capacity to act before a veteran becomes homeless and to target the problem of family homelessness.”
Shinseki, a retired four-star general who served as Army chief of staff, came to his VA post in 2009 insisting that no one who has served the United States in uniform should ever end up living on the streets. With backing from President Barack Obama, he committed to ending homelessness among veterans by 2015.
VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated in 2009 that 76,000 veterans were homeless on a single night. Of those, fewer than 10 percent were veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, said Pete Dougherty, VA's senior policy advisor on homelessness. read more>>>