(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will begin to distribute funding for homeless veterans in Seattle, Longview, and Spokane. The funding is part of the VA's Homeless Providers Grant & Per Diem Program, which makes funding available to public and private nonprofit organizations that assist homeless veterans. Senator Murray has worked to make record investments in the VA, funded millions in housing vouchers for homeless veterans, and worked to highlight the needs of Washington state's homeless veterans to VA officials in Washington D.C.
"Our veterans have served the nation with honor and they deserve to live in a safe and dignified manner when they come home," said Senator Murray. "That's why we need to work to support the organizations that are personally involved in getting veterans into transitional housing facilities. These grants, which fund the dedicated work of so many, are an important step towards toward helping homeless veterans throughout our state."
The three facilities in Washington state will receive per diem program funding which reimburses public and private organizations that provide veterans housing at $33 per day, per veteran. The funding will be immediately available to help the following organizations in Washington state:
Longview Housing Authority – Longview, WA
Longview Housing Authority is eligible for per diem payments for transitional housing that will provide 20 beds for homeless veterans.
The Salvation Army – Seattle, WA
The Salvation Army is eligible for per diem payments for transitional housing that will provide 24 beds for homeless veterans.
Pioneer Human Services – Spokane, WA
Pioneer Human Services is eligible for per diem payments for transitional housing that will provide 35 beds for homeless veterans.
In a separate effort earlier this year, Senator Murray worked to secure $75 million for housing vouchers that are being distributed to help 10,070 homeless veterans find housing across the country, including 250 in Washington state. Senator Murray secured the funding using her role as Chair of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee.
Some facts about veterans homelessness in Washington state and the U.S.:
- According to a 2006 report by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Washington state had 6,800 homeless veterans, or 1.04 percent of vets in the state.
- There are an estimated 1,200 veterans on the streets on any night in King County alone.
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that as many as 200,000 homeless people are veterans on any given night, and that over the course of the year, approximately 336,627 veterans experience homelessness.
- A report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, found that veterans make up one-quarter of the U.S. homeless population.
- The report also found that although veterans make up about 11 percent of the civilian adult population, they represent 26 percent of homeless people.