Veteran homelessness in the U.S. continues to decline and is now at half of the 2010 rate, according to a new national estimate. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report states that the total number of reported veterans experiencing homelessness at the Point-In-Time (PIT) count in January 2018 decreased 5.4 percent since last year to 37,878. Overall, veterans represent 11% of the total number of people experiencing homelessness during the PIT.
North Carolina’s PIT count estimates that 884 veterans experienced homelessness in January 2018, down from 931 in January 2017 and an overall 29 percent decrease since 2010. Of this year’s homeless veteran population, 735 were sheltered and 149 were unsheltered, which represents decreases of 22 percent and 51 percent since 2010. Two communities in North Carolina, Cumberland County/Fayetteville and Winston-Salem, have decreased veteran homelessness enough to be among 64 communities and three states nationwide that have declared an end to veteran homelessness.
These decreases can largely be attributed to 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.
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.