Veterans Homelessness A new era of homeless veterans
The total number of homeless veterans nationwide has declined significantly over the last three years, from around 200,00 on a given night in 2006 to less than 131,000 in 2008, the last year of available data according to the VA’s annual Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups (CHALENG) report.
Neither the VA or HUD keeps specific tallies on the number of homeless Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, but 96 percent of homeless service providers surveyed by CHALENG reported serving Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
Significantly, the number of homeless veterans with families increased 24 percent from the previous year, up to about 1,300.
The VA attributes the decline in the number of homeless veterans to two main causes. Firstly, new VA programs specifically designed to combat veteran homelessness, and secondly, the changing demographics of the veteran population. Many Vietnam-era veterans, who make up more than a third of the total homeless veterans, and those who served in earlier conflicts are older and passing away.
Roll over the map to see state-by-state estimates of veterans and homeless veterans.