#DailyVAFail – VA Will “Eventually” End Veterans’ Homelessness…
Concerned Veterans for America’s #DailyVAFail – our way of keeping the VA reform drum beating loud and strong.
CVA’s Story: 2015? 2016? What’s the rush?
While VA reform receives the lion’s share of media coverage, veterans’ homelessness is unquestionably a struggle for many of America’s heroes after leaving the battlefield. The VA and the White House recognized this problem, announced an ambitious initiative to address it, and set a deadline to reach ZERO homeless veterans by the end of 2015.
Unfortunately, like many promises made by the VA, and like many red lines set by this administration, there is no indication this deadline was ever considered more than wishful thinking. “I think all of us are fixated on getting to the goal eventually and not whether it’s Dec. 31 or Jan. 1,” said VA Secretary Bob McDonald. Eventually?
“Eventually” is not the mindset we need to better the lives of America’s veterans. Will they eventually fix the backlog? Eventually reform their toxic culture? Eventually start to hold poorly performing employees accountable? We could go on and on. It’s time the Department of Veterans Affairs stops making promises to veterans it can’t keep – and instead opens itself up to embracing outside reforms that look to bring fundamental and substantive change NOW, not eventually.
Heads of the departments of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Labor on Monday backed off the White House’s stated goal of ending veterans homelessness by the start of 2016, instead emphasizing “sustainable” plans to permanently end the problem as soon as possible.
“I think all of us are fixated on getting to the goal eventually and not whether it’s Dec. 31 or Jan. 1,” said VA Secretary Bob McDonald. “We want to build a system that is sustainable because we know there will be variation over time.”
The three Cabinet officials joined Interagency Council on Homelessness Executive Director Matthew Doherty in Houston for the start of a three-city tour to highlight partner efforts to get veterans off the streets — a goal outlined by White House officials five years ago.
Since then, the number of homeless veterans has been reduced by more than 25,000 individuals, but between 40,000 and 50,000 veterans are believed to still be struggling with homelessness.
Advocates have acknowledged that reaching the goal of getting all of those veterans into housing by year’s end — the White House’s original goal — will be difficult.
Whether officials can reach the goal of zero homeless veterans by the end of 2015 won’t be known until well into 2016.
Officials use the annual federal point-in-time count each January as a marker for the effort, and that data typically isn’t finalized until the fall. That means that despite the deadline in seven months, the estimate of homeless veterans at the start of 2016 won’t be available for about another 15 months.
Read the full story detailed in this #DailyVAFail via the Military Times.
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Concerned Veterans for America is a non-partisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization that advocates for policies that will preserve the freedom and liberty we and our families so proudly fought and sacrificed to defend.