The good news: Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald is committed to getting the number of homeless veterans to zero.
The better news: He realizes just reaching that milestone isn’t enough.
Read to find out what else needs to be done:VA secretary: ‘We can get to zero’ homeless veterans
We’ll work hard, but once all veterans are off the streets, we know our job still isn’t done,” he said. “More homeless veterans will happen, and we’re going to have to move them into housing.”
The VA secretary also linked the homeless work to broader departmental reforms underway in the wake of the nationwide patient wait-time problems, highlighting the need for better customer service practices across all VA programs, including homeless outreach efforts.
He also emphasized the need to continue partnerships between his department and the community groups, saying that the lingering problems with veterans housing “are going to be solved at the grass-roots level, not in Washington, D.C.”
This year’s conference marks the 25th anniversary of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. Group leaders said the most dramatic change over the years for the group has been the shift in public awareness of the issue, and the shift from managing the problem of homeless veterans to ending it.