79.Setting The Record Straight… Another VA Propaganda Story

145493813.jpgDear Friends:

A good friend of mine forwarded to me a recent VA memo on Homeless Veterans and what the VA says they have accomplished in this area titled: Setting the Record Straight — VA Delivering for Our Homeless Veterans . Now having read congressional reports past and present and written on this subject before here and considering myself well informed in the area of the Homeless Veteran Story that the VA weaves, I sure smelled something awful here. The above memo was written November the 8th of 2007 as you do see.  I am going to go through some of the bullets on this memo. Also I will be using for Reference:Report To The Chairman Veterans Affairs Committee, Homeless Veterans Programs (2005)  and the CHALENG REPORT (2006)

Reducing Homelessness

  • VA is the largest federal provider of direct assistance to the homeless.  Services provided include health care, outreach and case management, employment, rehabilitation, transitional residential care, therapeutic work and assistance with permanent housing.
    (When they decide to get around to it. In the 2006 CHALENG Report, Permanent Housing was rated the area they had NEAR Zero success with. They have never had success with permanent housing in the history of the program. Therapeutic work is a minimum wage job for six months at a Goodwill Industries Center. Currently Domicillary programs have a waiting list greater than 6 months to a year to enter for longer term care or for some job training)
  • There has been a 22 percent reduction in the number of homeless veterans in comparison to estimates as recent as five years ago. The estimated number of homeless veterans fell from 250,000 to today’s 195,000 on any given night (The VA fails to mention that they cut the number of homeless veterans by 121,000 from 313,000 to 194,000 from 2003 to 2004 in a “miraculous” new way of counting homeless veterans in the Continuum of Care before the Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Commitee Congressman Steve Buyer in 2005. He just nodded and said “OK” though tacitly admitted that number might be understated since the Homeless Veterans “are just so darn hard to count”. The VA claims these numbers come from HUD but HUD has no record of these numbers.)
  • Only about 30 percent of homeless veterans are chronically homeless, which are the hardest to reach among the homeless population.  VA’s programs are designed to directly serve this important group. (Using the VA’s number of 194,000 x 30% that CHRONICALLY HOMELESS equals 58,200 Homeless Veterans NATIONWIDE! well that certainly cuts the number down to size doesn’t it. Now if we are only triaging the 70% of the CHRONICALLY HOMELESS that are chemically dependent or mentally ill that totals then only 40,740. According to the CHALENG Report for 2006, The VA should have had the Homeless Veteran Problem about cleaned up this year since they have 72,000 Emergency beds, 40,600 Transitional Beds and 31,700 Permanent Beds dedicated to Homeless Veterans. The pyramid is definitely upside down here. It shows homeless veterans being ejected at every level of care. The Chaleng Report says they need more beds because there is a shortage of over 122,000 emergency beds. Using the Chronically homeless veterans level, this memo says all is well and that there is a technically a shortage  of transitional beds for the chronically homeless of 140 beds . There is a conflict between the two documents.)
  • VA also partners with hundreds of communities on Stand Downs across the nation.  Stand Downs give homeless veterans a temporary refuge where they can obtain food, shelter, clothing and a range of community and VA assistance. ( These last less than one day and up to two nights. Also there are less than 95 of these on the list for 2007. I am wondering how we got to the “HUNDREDS” Here?)
  • 346 program clinicians are working nationwide who contact homeless veterans as part of their dedication to the homeless health care outreach effort. (Using the current VA number of 194,000 Homeless Veterans. That is a ratio of 560:1. If that was a school class room someone would be screaming. Now you would have to be really dedicated to contact 560 homeless veterans. I DON”T THINK SO. I have not met a program clinician or ever been contacted. I have not seen any dedication at all. I have made contacts. I have seen no outreach effort at all. Who are they kidding here? Before the VA cut the number in 2004 the ratio would have been 860:1 which number looks better?)

1 Response to “79.Setting The Record Straight… Another VA Propaganda Story”

  1. November 28, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    You beat me to the draw on this one. I had it about ready when you issued this one. Same subject (different title) same GAO rebuttal document. I agree with what you’ve said completly.

    How do you tell the VA is telling a lie? The lawyer joke is “when their lips are moving”. The VA answer: “They issue Setting the Record Staight Documents”!

    Grace and Peace


    I look forward to reading yours!!

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