Number of homeless veterans in the U.S. fell 11%, biggest drop in 5 years

By Matthew Casey
Associated Press
Published: Monday, November 7, 2022 - 10:34am

Initial data show an 11% decrease in the number of homeless veterans nationwide since 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

That's the biggest decline in more than five years, the Biden administration reported Thursday.

In January, officials counted more than 33,000 people living on the streets who had served in the military.

Officials say the figure marks a 55% drop in homeless veterans since 2010.  

“One veteran experiencing homelessness will always be one too many, but the ... count shows that we are making real progress in the fight to end veteran homelessness,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said.

The government count is conducted annually to capture U.S. homeless population on a single night in January each year, but was not fully completed last year due to limits on in-person surveying during the coronavirus pandemic.

The data released Thursday shows significant drops each year in homelessness from 2010 to 2016, when the Obama administration made it a top priority to end veteran homelessness, before mostly leveling off from 2016 to 2020.

The Biden administration credited its efforts to reduce veteran homelessness with help from the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, which boosted the VA's homeless programs and expanded rental aid and other support for veterans' families.