Speaking in support of new initiatives on Tuesday, Steven Berg of the National Alliance to End Homelessness said the problem shouldn’t be viewed as inevitable.
“We know a great deal about the pathways into homelessness,” he said in testimony to Congress, and also about “the interventions and program models which are effective in offering reconnection to community, and stable housing.”
Prevention efforts may be especially important for Americans who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, experts say, because the likelihood of vets being homeless is greatest about seven years after they leave military service.
Bills under review in Congress include a range of measures, such as 60,000 new housing vouchers from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), targeted at the number of vets estimated to be chronically homeless due to problems such as mental illness. Other provisions would target new money toward community or faith-based groups to provide support for homeless vets. One bill focuses especially on support for vets who are single parents.