Established in 2009, the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans has been working to reduce veterans homelessness through research. Located in West Philadelphia, the center receives an annual budget of $2.3 million from the Department of Veterans Affairs to fund its mission, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Executive Director Vincent Kane told the news source that the center's 12 researchers help the VA strategize on how to eliminate homelessness among veterans. According to Kane, one of the most effective ways is through providing homeless veterans around the country with permanent shelter. While previous VA programs have focused on treating the underlying problems facing veterans, such as mental illness, the agency is now focused on moving veterans into housing before directing them to other services. This housing-first approach has been a "game-changer," Kane said.
The veterans homeless population in the U.S. has decreased substantially since the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans opened in 2009. A 2013 report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that, on a single night in January, there were roughly 57,800 veterans living without shelter in the U.S. Although the population is still large, there were more than 75,000 homeless veterans in 2009, according to the news source.