Helping Homeless Vets

by Freddy Groves


Feel that chill in the air? Tens of thousands of homeless veterans feel

it, too. A joint program between the Department of Veterans Affairs and

the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is working to get

veterans into stable, permanent housing, with a goal of ending veteran

homelessness by 2015. They’re making progress, but have a long way to go.

An interactive map at shows the good and bad news

when it comes to the numbers of homeless veterans. Some one-year stats:

A suburb of Washington, D.C. shows a 41 percent increase in the number

of homeless veterans. A county outside the Beltway shows a 12 percent

increase. Another nearby county shows a whopping 85 percent increase. A

town in North Carolina shows a 157 percent increase. Other nearby sites

show decreases … but it begs the question: Did those homeless veterans

just change locations?


Veterans service organizations that are ready to step up to combat

veterans homelessness can help by getting out information about available

services. Go online to and get busy printing out

information. The site offers brochures, fact sheets, posters, videos and

Web ads. The videos have information for legal professionals, social

workers and first responders about inquiring if someone is a veteran.

Read the fine print about how you can work with existing groups to fill

in the gaps that always exist. If your organization has a website, look

for the coding and graphics you can put on your site to lead veterans to

information they need.


At the very least, print out the wallet cards and hand them out to all

your members to carry. The cards have the toll-free number for homeless

veterans to get help: 877-4AID-VET (424-3838)


Freddy Groves regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions,

but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Send email to


(c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

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