Over the past six years, federal and state agencies have made major progress in their nationwide quest to end veteran homelessness. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the population of homeless ex-servicemembers has dropped by 80 percent since 2009.
It all started in 2010 when the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness set out an ambitious plan to house homeless Americans. The initiative, called Opening Doors, would first provide aid to members of vulnerable populations, including military veterans. Congress allocated $1.5 billion to the program.
So far, Opening Doors has been a major success. Over the last two years, some of America’s largest cities have put an end to veteran homelessness, including Houston, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Philadelphia.
A number of other cities are working hard to achieve this milestone. New York City has drastically reduced its homeless veteran population with aggressive housing programs and Los Angeles looks to do the same. Hopefully, homeless ex-servicemembers in these states will soon have safe place to call home.