A report by HUD and the Department of Veterans Affairs released at the end of last year proclaimed a 24 percent reduction in homelessness among veterans since 2010. In fact, the year 2012 alone boasted an eight percent reduction in homelessness for our country’s vets. Although this news is certainly encouraging, the sad fact is that despite the reduction, HUD estimates that there were still 57,849 homeless veterans in January of 2012 and further research indicates that over the course of the year, approximately twice that many veterans experienced homelessness at one time or another.
As a nation, we can do better than this. And as a leader in the affordable housing industry, Mercy Housing will help see to it that we do.
“President Obama has said we’re not going to rest until every veteran who has fought for America has a home in America,” said Carol Breslau, Mercy Housing vice president of National Resident Services, in reference to President Obama’s goal to end veteran homelessness in 2015.
“The issue is top of mind for many of our nation’s leaders, just as it is for many of us at Mercy Housing. We are absolutely going to do our part to help end this epidemic.”
Already, Mercy Housing properties like El Monte Veterans Village in California and Danville Supportive Housing in Illinois are being erected to meet the needs of those who have fought for and returned home to America. And as has always been the case for Mercy Housing, we will not stop at providing merely a roof.
“It is estimated that one-third of the 1.6 million veterans returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will have come home with traumatic brain injury, PTSD and severe depression,” says Breslau. “Our nation’s heroes are going to need housing stability and supportive services like the ones we and our partners offer as they transition back into civilian life. Connecting our resident veterans to those services is the least we can do.”
Mercy Housing is proud to partner with veterans organizations throughout the country, doing our part to end veteran homelessness by 2015. If you’d like to be a part of our efforts, please take a minute to learn more about our work on behalf of our nation’s veterans by visiting mercyhousing.org/affordable-housing-for-veterans.