Several years ago government officials committed to eliminating veteran homelessness by 2015. Since then, thanks to work by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and Department of Housing and Urban Development, the rate of homelessness has fallen considerably, but there is still considerable work to be done. An estimated 60,000 veterans are currently homeless and as the deadline draws near, officials are feeling the pressure, reports Stars and Stripes.

Recent progress
In 2008, the White House and VA announced their plans to tackle veteran homelessness, and since then they have been largely successful. In fact, the rate has fallen by about one-fifth since the program was launched. That being said, VA secretary Eric Shinseki still feels like there needs to be more ambitious steps taken. There are plans in the works to provide housing vouchers to thousands more veterans as well as a growing effort to improve health screening and other services to identify vets who may be at risk of losing their homes.

"We have made a difference … we know we can do this," Shinseki told the audience at the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans conference recently, according to the publication. "In a couple of years, we'll be able to look back and say we took every homeless veteran off the street."

A local approach
The partnership between the VA and HUD has been the centerpiece of the nationwide effort to cut veteran homelessness, but there are also more local, targeted efforts. One such event recently took place in communities across the country. Known as Walk and Roll, the VA-hosted event welcomes thousands of participants across the country to walk in an effort to raise money to eradicate homelessness. Last year's event brought in an estimated $240,000. 

More needs to be done
There has undoubtedly been considerable strides made in accomplishing the eventual goal. According to The Washington Post, some cities have been unable to accept the veteran housing voucheres due to financial restraints caused by significant budget cuts. Furthermore, as thousands of troops separate from service as the war in Afghanistan draws down and the Armed Forces reduces its ranks, there may be an increasing number of servicemembers at risk of losing their homes .