Biden Honors Moral Commitment to Homeless Vets
Not just talk. The Biden administration will announce new help for veterans today as the President seeks to permanently house at least 38,000 veterans in 2023.
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“Let’s help veterans afford their rent because no one should be homeless in this country, especially not those who served it,” President Biden, State of the Union address, February 7, 2023.
Promises Made, Promises Being Kept
President Biden is living up to his word and honoring our moral commitments to U.S. veterans. Just months after his State of the Union address, the Biden administration is addressing the moral scourge of homeless veterans with “the largest-ever single-year investment in communities’ homelessness response systems.”
When a person signs up to serve in the armed forces, the country and its people undertake a moral obligation to care for the person in a variety of ways in return. So it has been a national disgrace that so many of our veterans have been experiencing homelessness for decades.
As of the last count, 19,565 veterans experienced sheltered homelessness, and 13,564 veterans experienced unsheltered homelessness. This is an unforgivable violation of our ideals as a country.
The Biden Harris Administration has the goal to permanently house at least 38,000 veterans in 2023.
Biden White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough went over the details in an embargoed call with reporters in which I participated. The following is from materials provided to reporters on that call (edited for brevity):
Making the single largest investment in communities’ homelessness response systems in history. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will soon issue approximately $3.1 billion — “the largest-ever single-year investment through this program to help communities address homelessness.”
Providing first-of-its-kind funding for legal services for veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is awarding $11.5 million to public and nonprofit organizations through its new Legal Services for Veterans Grant Program. Funds will support veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including providing legal representation to help prevent eviction and helping veterans obtain public benefits for which they are eligible.
Connecting veterans experiencing homelessness with jobs with $58 million in grant funding to help veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness reintegrate into the labor force, including homeless women veterans, homeless veterans with children, and justice-involved veterans.
Launching new effort to quickly rehouse veterans. HUD and VA are launching a series of “Boot Camps” to help public housing agencies and VA Medical Centers improve their processes and more quickly transition veterans from homelessness to permanent housing.
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