Thursday, December 7, 2017

Homeless Veterans Faced Deeper Cuts Instead of Help

VA tried to reallocate $460 million earmarked for homeless veterans. Now it says that won’t happen.
The Washington Post
Emily Wax-Thibodeaux
December 6, 2017
“It’s just unconscionable to take this action without consulting HUD or the many mayors who have been working so hard on this. The former troops who used these vouchers are the most likely to die on American streets.”
Elisha Harig-Blaine 

Flags are hoisted at the Los Angeles encampment of homeless veteran Kendrick Bailey on Nov. 10, 2017. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)
The Department of Veterans Affairs appears to be backtracking on its divisive plan to reallocate nearly a half-billion dollars from a successful program to reduce homelessness among former military personnel, bowing to pressure from lawmakers and advocacy groups who criticized the effort as cruel and counterproductive.
The about-face, announced in a statement Wednesday night from VA Secretary David Shulkin, followed a Washington Post inquiry about the Trump administration’s effort to divert the funding — totaling $460 million — instead to local VA hospitals for discretionary use. As Politico first reported, that money had been set aside specifically for a voucher program, run by VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, that provides long-term living accommodations for the country’s most vulnerable military veterans, many of whom suffer from mental illness.
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