More than 5,000 beds will be added to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) housing capacity for homeless veterans, the VA announced on June 8, bringing the total number of beds to over 20,000.
"This initiative will significantly support our efforts to eliminate veterans homelessness and improve quality of life for Veterans," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "We have a moral obligation to ensure that Veterans and their families have access to affordable housing and medical services that will help them get back on their feet."
The VA recently completed the Building Utilization Review and Repurposing (BURR) initiative, a study of its structural capacity nationwide and concluded that it had unused and underused buildings at existing VA properties that had the potential for development of new housing opportunities. In addition to the 5,000 new beds, opportunities identified through BURR included housing for returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families, assisted living for elderly veterans, and continuum of living residential communities.
Supportive housing projects are planned for homeless Veterans and their families at 23 VA sites and senior and non-senior independent living and assisted living is planned at 11 VA sites, including Newington, CT.
Nationally, approximately 23% of the homeless population are veterans, between 130,000 and 200,000 on any given night, a number disproportionate with the number of veterans in the general population. In Connecticut, there are approximately 462 veterans experiencing homelessness, according to Department of Veterans Affairs statistics.
To Learn More:
VA Press Release