August 21, 2013
By Charles Zuckerman
With so many veterans returning home from service in the past several years, the federal government has stepped up efforts to support the nation's heroes who often go through a tough acclimation process. The Department of Veterans Affairs has tapped into several other resources to create more beneficial programs for those military members who need them most.
The Washington Post recently reported that the VA has teamed with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide clinical services and housing for more than 1,000 veterans. The joint initiative, which includes the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers, received a big funding boost this week, taking in $7.8 million.
Officials from both departments believe that this is a strong step in the right direction, though there is still far more work to be done, the source explained.
"So long as a single veteran lives on our streets, we have work to do," asserted Eric Shinseki, the secretary of veterans affairs, according to the news provider.
The Washington Post added that one study revealed optimistic figures when it comes to homelessness in the veteran community. More than 62,000 veterans are estimated to be homeless currently, though this is 17.2% fewer than figures recorded in the beginning of 2009.
Officials from the VA also recently asked veterans with disabilities to start using accredited claims preparers instead of filing in traditional methods, Newsday reported this week. According to the source, officials from the department believe that this strategy will help to quicken the turnaround time on claims, which is much needed as the backlog has ballooned substantially in recent years.
The news provider noted that these services will be offered at no charge to the veteran, and will likely help to ensure assistance is deployed in a more timely fashion.