07
Mar
08

128. VA Claims 40,000 Homeless Veterans Housed In 2007

1n3d33cab4k2ibcatoltasca80q55acapvd13ocay9gqf3ca6l0v2yca1ho7zjcaf0qodwcagclom6cad2zlbwcaefhqowca7el2crcadrvy23cakyrwlvcacffws5cabnuienca1dcndvcagxl01vca27ueuo.jpg Sen. Daniel Akaka

 

Dear Readers and Wanderingvets:

This morning I read some interesting new from Daniel Akaka the Leader of the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee Dated March 7, 2008.

Senator Akaka stated:

“The reported drop in the number of homeless veterans is welcome news, and I commend VA and the many community programs that have worked to make this happen,”

“While we all should be proud of the successes to date, now is the time for increased action rather than celebration.  A 21 percent decline still means that on any given night, over 150,000 veterans are homeless.  We must redouble our efforts to further reduce and ultimately prevent homelessness among veterans.  By strengthening already-successful programs, we can sustain this most welcome sign of progress,”

Ok folks, where did I miss this heroic action this year of the Veterans Administration on behalf of the Homeless Veterans of our nation?

In reading the 2007 Annual Homeless Assessment Report presented to Congress this past year, HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson stated that homelessness stayed at “zero growth” despite a 6% population increase. Also upon reading the 2007 AHAR, it was also annotated that some data was inconclusive due to erroneous data or incomplete data taking and that 90% of the veteran data collection was incorrect and had to be deleted. The data was being collected by a majority of under trained or non trained volunteers. Volunteers are the backbone of the counts regarding the aiding of the homeless. The VA does not assist in looking for their homeless veterans.

The fact that the Unsheltered Homeless are not questioned or polled at all as far if they are veterans but just “spotlighted” as bodies for numbers is also suspect.

As I have pointed out through series of articles here, the Homeless Veterans are not counted inside the Veterans Administration Hospitals or being referred to the Homeless Coordinators. There are discrepancies between the individual State agencies and the VA regions between actual numbers of Homeless Veterans with the VA’s numbers being up to 70% lower in many cases. The Veterans Administration it seems did not submit its own data to HUD to be de-duplicated or checked .(This means to be included and have the social security numbers checked inside HUD’s database for recording as homeless veteran status. The VA is keeping their data secret.)

The VA is content in using the counts from homeless shelters only in the United States to not include its Posessions. There have been over 3,400 homeless shelters closed nationally in the last ten years. Since HUD has decided that they use the shelters for their data points, this makes data collection harder due to less collection points as well as space for people to shelter and register for counting during the count time frame. 

The VA is saying that HUD is looking in every nook and cranny for homeless veterans. The fact that the unsheltered homeless veterans are counted basically if they seek shelter over a 90 day period during January annually is the only way they will be counted.

Since most counts take place in more urbanized environments where there are harsh ordinances for being homeless, most homeless have moved towards areas where there are less populated or more rural surroundings. This makes counting even harder and actually guarantees that many are and never will be counted.

The Veterans Administration has underestimated the number of Homeless Veterans returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom admittedly. If they underestimate this number, what makes us believe they are not underestimating other numbers?

Since 2003 The Veterans Administration has lowered the number of Homeless Veterans by over 161,000 now. It is amazing to anyone that in the last 5 years the Veterans Administration has been able to cure 50% of the Homeless Veterans in America from over 313,000 in 2003 to This Mornings Level now of only 155,000.

Better yet, why doesn’t HUD and every nonprofit learn the VA model for ending homelessness? Why doesn’t the VA share this secret with the world? It would cure homelessness worldwide I imagine.

Please do not stand for this and write to your representatives that you do not believe this either… I have written to the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee already.

Wanderingvet

/Sample Letter/

Dear Committee Members:

As someone that reads the reports sent to you by the HUD and VA Secretaries, I am amazed by the committees lack of diligence in analyzing the 2007 Annual Homeless Assessment Report that the Veterans Administration cited their data from for their statistics on the current levels of Veteran Homelessness.

Upon reading Secretary Jackson’s report, you will note that veterans were not counted accurately, nor that the VA counted homeless veterans often times inside their own hospitals.

That the 90 day counts or the Point in Time counts of homelessness questioned those that are unsheltered as to if they are veterans also makes the VA claims of lowering veteran homelessness dubious also.

How can the VA claim they lowered Veteran Homelessness without explaining or giving a detailed method of how or through what means they have achieved this miraculous goal of housing 40,000 veterans?

If the committee will note, the VA will have claimed since 2003 that they have cured over 161,000 homeless veterans or over 50% of the homeless veteran problem. Please look closer at this issue.

Sincerely,



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1 Response to “128. VA Claims 40,000 Homeless Veterans Housed In 2007”


  1. March 7, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Senator Akaka is a Democrat, not a Republican. Just wanted to let you know that. The other thing is that while the VA said the numbers have gone down, I would love to see the data considering they pulled this stunt before. They lost over a hundred thousand homeless veterans when suddenly it went from over 300,000 to under 200,000 as you pointed out. I still haven’t found anyone who has seen the data on where they went.
    By the way, I love your site. Keep up the good work.

    Thank you Kathie I know where they went by the way…they are still out there on the streets, the numbers are just being administered differently to make the VA look better.

    Wanderingvet


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