The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that 131,000 veterans are homeless on any given night in the United States. In 2010 alone, 200,000 veterans were entered into the VA’s homeless registry. The plight of homeless veterans has received increased attention in recent years, due to concerns about the needs of service men and women returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to those from past conflicts.
Common Ground devotes considerable resources to addressing homelessness among veterans, who on average make up more than 10% of our total client base.
- In 2007, in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), opened a 96-unit Veterans Transitional Residence (VTR) on the Montrose, New York VA campus. The VTR, in coordination with the VA, offers comprehensive on-site case management, mental and physical health services, substance abuse counseling, and employment assistance to move individuals into permanent housing within a two-year period.
- In 2011, we served more than 400 homeless veterans through our housing and outreach programs. As we plan future housing developments, we are seeking to preferentially reserve approximately 30% of housing units for veterans, at the same time that we deepen our partnership with the VA and add specialty programs to meet veterans’ needs.
- Common Ground is one of three human services organizations operating a pilot program designed to intensify efforts to identify and house homeless veterans in New York City.