Homelessness Among Veterans Down Nearly 18% in Los Angeles Since 2017 and 56% Since 2010 - VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
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VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System

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Homelessness Among Veterans Down Nearly 18% in Los Angeles Since 2017 and 56% Since 2010

November 2, 2018


Los Angeles — Fewer than 4,000 (3,910) veterans were homeless on a given night in January 2018 in Los Angeles County, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The HUD report is fresh evidence that the work underway by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its federal and community partners to prevent and end homelessness among veterans is producing the intended results.

The 2018 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count—an annual HUD-led enumeration of America’s homeless population— revealed that overall homelessness among veterans is down 18 percent in Los Angeles County and the number of unsheltered homeless veterans decreased by 2 percent (3370 in 2017, 2667 in 2018) Los Angeles since 2017.

“It is progress like this, that reminds me that there is no higher calling than caring from the men and women who sacrificed their lives in services to our great nation by serving in the military. Our call to duty, to take care of those who served our country, reaches its most pressing state when caring for our homeless Veterans.” said Ann Brown, Director at VAGLAHS

In Los Angeles, the prevalence of the homelessness crisis cannot be overstated. I am proud that VA is standing with its community partners to actively address this issue through collaboration, system integration and targeted outreach, ensuring we are reaching the most chronically homeless Veterans.  Some of the most successful strategies include:

  • Used data to inform policy and operational decisions about Veteran homelessness
  • Done a better job of targeting the right Veterans for assistance
  • Redesigned data systems to ensure they deliver data that clinicians need to deliver appropriate services to homeless Veterans
  • Better integrated VA Homeless Programs into the LA homeless services coordinated entry system
  • Focused efforts on hiring the right leadership and clinicians to provide the best care to homeless Veterans.

While there is still more work to do, the decrease signals that our strategies are working – bringing us a little bit closer to ending Veteran homelessness in Los Angeles.  

PIT Count data provide a national “snapshot” of homelessness on a given night in America. It is one of many tools that VA staff and partner agencies use to determine where to target resources to help veterans who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Nationally, the PIT Count showed that fewer than 38,000 veterans were homeless on a single night in January 2018—a 5.4 percent decrease since January 2017 and a nearly 50 percent decline since January 2010. The number of unsheltered homeless veterans decreased by nearly 5 percent between January 2017 and January 2018. To date, 64 communities of varying sizes and three states, have effectively ended homelessness among veterans. The PIT Count results revealed that we are continuing to make progress locally and nationally.

“We are proud of the progress of VA and its partner organizations in helping homeless and at-risk veterans become and remain stably housed,” said Michael Taylor, VA director of homeless veterans outreach. “While there’s more work to be done, the data reported today by HUD shows that the evidence-based strategies that we’re using to help veterans exit homelessness are producing positive and lasting results for veterans who lack stable housing.” 

VA has a wide range of programs that prevent and end homelessness among veterans, including health care, housing solutions, job training and education. In FY 2017 alone, more than 50,000 veterans found permanent housing and supportive services through VA’s continuum of homeless programs. Between October 2010 and September 2017, more than 600,000 veterans and their family members have been permanently housed or prevented from becoming homeless.

More information about VA programs for homeless veterans is available at www.va.gov/homeless. Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless should contact their local VA medical center and ask to speak to a homeless coordinator or call 1-877-4AID-VET.