VA’s homeless standdown a success
The Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center hosted the 2d Annual Hero Haven Homeless Veteran Stand Down last weekend. This program provided medical screening, employment support, housing services, and clothing to eligible homeless Veterans.
Homeless veterans is a very critical issue nationwide. About one-third of the adult homeless population are Veterans, with an estimated 131,000 veterans on the streets any given night. The number of homeless Vietnam veterans is greater than the number of service persons who died in that war. Roughly, 56 percent are African American or Hispanic.
VA will spend $3.2 billion this year to prevent and reduce homelessness among Veterans-$2.7 billion on medical services and $500 million on specific homeless programs. With 85 percent of homeless funding going to health care, the implication is that homelessness is very much a health care issue-heavily burdened by depression and substance abuse.