Today, the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) announced preliminary results of the 2022 Point-in-Time Count showing an 11% decline in Veteran homelessness since early 2020, the last time a full count was conducted. This is the biggest drop in Veteran homelessness in more than five years.
The data show that on a single night in January 2022, there were 33,136 Veterans who were experiencing homelessness in the United States – down from 37,252 in 2020. Overall, this represents a 55.3% reduction in Veterans experiencing homelessness since 2010.
“All Veterans deserve to have what they need to lead healthy, safe, and successful lives – that starts with a place to call home,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “The data released today shows we are closer than ever in ensuring that every Veteran in America has a home and challenges us to ensure that every Veteran – and every person in America – has a home.”
“One Veteran experiencing homelessness will always be one too many, but the 2022 PIT Count shows that we are making real progress in the fight to end Veteran homelessness,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “There is still a long way to go, but under President Biden’s leadership, we at VA, HUD and USICH will not stop until every Veteran has a good, safe, stable home in this country they fought to defend.”
“Not only did we lower the number of Veterans experiencing homelessness, but we made this progress during a global pandemic and economic crisis,” said USICH Executive Director Jeff Olivet. “This proves that, even under the most difficult circumstances, we can take care of each other and address homelessness.”
The 2022 PIT Count is the first full PIT Count since 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began. In 2021, prior to the widespread availability of vaccines, many communities did not conduct unsheltered counts (counts of Veterans in emergency shelters and transitional housing) in order to stop or slow the spread of COVID-19, resulting in an incomplete picture of Veteran homelessness in America.
Notably, the results from the PIT Count do not reflect the additional efforts launched by HUD, VA, and USICH in 2022, including VA’s goal to re-house 38,000 Veterans in this calendar year. Through September, VA has placed nearly 31,000 homeless Veterans into permanent housing — putting VA on track to meet, or even exceed, its goal.
HUD, VA, and USICH are making progress using the evidence-based “Housing First” approach, which prioritizes getting a Veteran into housing, then provides the Veteran with the wraparound support they need to stay housed — including health care, job training, legal and education assistance, and more. “Housing First” is foundational to the Administration’s nationwide “House America” initiative to address homelessness by leveraging historic investments provided through the American Rescue Plan.
This progress has been made possible by the leadership of President Biden and the resources provided by Congress during the pandemic. With the passage of the American Rescue Plan, VA’s homeless programs received $481 million in additional funding to support Veterans — including funding to expand the Shallow Subsidy Initiative, expand the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program, address legal barriers to housing, and transform congregate transitional housing spaces into individual rooms with bathrooms, and more. Overall, the American Rescue Plan provided more than $5 billion to assist individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness, as well as more than $40 billion for housing provisions nationwide.
If you are a Veteran who is experiencing homelessness or at risk for homelessness, call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838). Visit the VA Homeless Programs website to learn about housing initiatives and other programs for Veterans exiting homelessness.