The annual point-in-time count from Housing and Urban Development officials found roughly 40,000 homeless veterans.
Veterans’ homelessness matches national trends. HUD officials said that for the first time since 2010, the overall homeless population increased in America, up about 1 percent from 2016 levels to nearly 554,000 homeless people.
And, similar to the national numbers, most of the increases in the veterans homeless population came from the West Coast. California and Washington combined saw a rise of nearly 2,500 new homeless veterans.
Meanwhile, the southeast part of the country — Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida — saw a decrease of almost 800 homeless veterans.
Of the 40,000 homeless veterans, almost 25,000 of them are living in temporary facilities. But that leaves more than 15,000 without any reliable shelter.
VA spokesman Curt Cashour said, “VA intends to realign funding from a number of programs, including our permanent supportive housing program (grants),” he said. “These programs are currently managed at VA central office in Washington, D.C., and this move gives control and management of resources to local VA facilities. We have heard from many of our facility directors that they know their communities and the veterans they serve better than anyone else, and we agree.”