At first glace, this looks really good. The VA announces that another $46 million is made available to VA facilities to help homeless veterans. Most of this is in the form of “rental vouchers.” Vouchers provided to veterans who are willing to work with the VA in making an effort to go from homelessness to self sustainable.
Then I read the actual distribution information, and I notice that some facilities, even some entire states, are being awarded less money than some people make for a year’s salary. Some of the very populous states, such as Texas, Florida, are receiving a total of $3 million or more. Others though, make me tilt my head sideways and wonder. Just exactly how much rent is $52,000 expected to cover? (North Dakota) The spreadsheet says this is supposed to cover 15 rental vouchers.
So I have some questions that I would love to get the community’s input on. How many of you have met and associated with a veteran who went through a period of abject homelessness? Was it the VA that helped them? How does the VA find the homeless veterans in need of help? I can’t imagine that someone is actually walking the streets….looking for those in need.
So lets create some ideas, folks. Respond in the comments here, on facebook, or on twitter, with ideas that you think are constructive, realistic methods to reach out to the homeless veterans–to reach out to the unreachable. I know we’ll all be tempted to comment back with complaints about politicians’ salaries and other nonsense. Lets keep that for another time and come up with new things instead.
Lets create ways to help those we keep saying deserve it the most.
What am I going to do with all your responses?
I’m going to email them to U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, and see what we get for a response.
Photo thanks to Matthew Wynn under creative commons licence on flickr.