This week, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced new goals for preventing and ending veteran homelessness. In 2023, VA will:
- Move at least 38,000 veterans experiencing homelessness into permanent housing.
- Ensure that at least 95% of the veterans housed in 2023 do not return to homelessness during the year. Of those who do return to homelessness, VA will ensure that at least 90% are rehoused or on a path to rehousing by the end of 2023.
- Engage with at least 28,000 unsheltered veterans to help them obtain housing and wraparound services. This goal represents a more than 10% increase in the number of unsheltered veterans reached during 2022.
VA also announced new goals for combating veteran homelessness in the Los Angeles area . During 2022, VA provided 1,301 permanent housing placements to formerly homeless veterans in LA—the most of any U.S. city. In 2023, VA will build on that progress by:
- Providing at least 1,500 permanent housing placements to formerly homeless veterans.
- Conducting at least 1,888 engagements with unsheltered veterans to help them obtain housing and wraparound services.
VA’s efforts are built upon the evidence-based “Housing First” approach, which prioritizes getting a veteran into housing, then providing them with the wraparound support they need to stay housed—including health care, job training, legal and education assistance.
During 2022, VA placed more than 40,000 homeless veterans into permanent housing—exceeding its goal by more than 6%. Of the 40,401 veterans housed, 2,443 returned to homelessness at some point last year. With the help of VA staff and community partners, 86% of those veterans were rehoused or on a path to rehousing by the end of the year. There are several reasons why veterans may return to homelessness after being placed into permanent housing, such as financial hardship and illness—and VA works to return them to stable housing as quickly and sustainably as possible.
This initiative is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s broader efforts to reduce homelessness for all Americans by 25% by 2025. Last week, President Biden released his Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal , which invests $3.1 billion in providing homeless veterans—and veterans at risk of homelessness—with permanent housing, access to health care and other supportive services.