Columbus Counts Fewer Homeless Veterans

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Veterans Affairs Assistant Secretary, Tommy Sowers, says the agency wants to end homelessness among veterans by 2015(Photo: Tom Borgerding/WOSU News)
Veterans Affairs Assistant Secretary, Tommy Sowers, says the agency wants to end homelessness among veterans by 2015(Photo: Tom Borgerding/WOSU News)

A top Veterans Affairs official says Columbus is among cities reporting a decline in the number of homeless veterans.

The Federal Department of Veterans Affairs says it’s making measurable progress in finding shelter for homeless veterans. During a visit to Columbus, VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers says annual counts of homeless in the United States shows 14,000 fewer veterans in shelters or on the street.

“So right now we’re about 62,000 veterans and we’re seeing great progress even here in Columbus. Columbus had a huge decline in their homeless population. It goes from 27 down to seven last year.” Says Sowers.

Sowers says as the number of homeless veterans dwindles, individual cases are harder to resolve.

“With a homeless population with a very significant percentage with some sort of mental illness, with a very significant percentage with some sort of substance abuse, these are going to be tough cases to crack and the VA can’t do it alone.”

Sowers says the VA wants to end homelessness among veterans by 2015. Its offering $300 million in grants for community organizations to help meet its goal.

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