Number Of Homeless Female Veterans Rises Sharply, Report Finds | New York Times
The number of homeless female veterans more than doubled from 2006 to 2010, and they will remain at risk of abuse and lack of shelter without better services from the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to a recently released government report.
The Government Accountability Office, the auditing arm of Congress, estimated that the ranks of homeless female veterans had risen more than 140 percent since 2006, to 3,328 in fiscal 2010. The report cautions, however, that the Veterans Affairs data is limited and cannot be generalized.
The veterans department does not track homeless female veterans and their needs, making it difficult for the agency to allocate grants to providers, the report said. The data becomes even more important in light of the growing numbers of women who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The accountability office urged Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which works with the V.A. to provide veteran housing, to collaborate on this data collection.
About two thirds of homeless female veterans are 40 to 59 years old and many have minor children. Over one-third are disabled.
Female veterans have a constellation of problems in finding housing, the report said. Many women did not know about veteran housing, while others experienced long wait times. When a homeless veteran applies for housing, they are supposed to get a referral to a shelter or other temporary housing while they wait. Nearly a quarter of Veterans Affairs Medical Center homeless coordinators did not have short-term housing plans for female veterans, the report found.
via New York Times