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IAVA: Veteran Homelessness Must Remain a Funding Priority

New York, NY (December 7, 2017) — This week, The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released an assessment of national homelessness that showed veteran homelessness increased by 1.5% between January 2016 and January 2017. According to the report, more than 40,000 veterans were experiencing homelessness. IAVA, the leading voice of the Post-9/11 generation of veterans, calls the increase in veterans homelessness a national shame. This is the first time since 2010 that veterans homelessness has increased, and IAVA calls on leaders in Washington to react quickly to reverse this unconscionable trend. 

Especially shocking is that this crisis disproportionately affects women veterans. In the past year, women veterans homelessness increased by 7%, while male veteran homelessness rose by 1%, adding to the evidence that women veterans are not getting the services and support they need. In 2017 IAVA launched the groundbreaking She Who Borne The Battle Campaign to recognize and support women vets. 

“IAVA is dedicated to ending veteran homelessness,” said Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and CEO of IAVA. “And our government must be dedicated as well. The White House, Congress and VA must continue to push for innovative solutions addressing veteran homelessness impacting changing populations. This is especially true for women veterans, who are more likely to experience homelessness. It is critical that the Department of Veterans Affairs and the housing community provide safe facilities for women that will address their specific needs. We were glad to see Secretary Shulkin withdraw a proposal that would have ended specific funding toward this critical program, which was strongly criticized by IAVA, allies and HUD. But there’s much more to be done, especially to support women veterans.” 

In IAVA’s most recent Member Survey:

-23% of IAVA members did not have housing secured when they transitioned out of service. 

-About 1% of IAVA members reported that they did not have a place to live and could not afford one at the time of taking the survey.

IAVA’s She Who Borne the Battle Campaign aims ensure that the service and support women veterans need is readily available to them — so that they never have to face homelessness or housing insecurity. The IAVA-backed Deborah Sampson Act will expand the services available to women veterans that may be at risk for homelessness or housing insecurity due to legal issues or financial insecurity.  

Note to media: Email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 12th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 7,300 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.