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Gov’t focuses on homeless veterans

John Dimsdale Nov 10, 2009
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Gov’t focuses on homeless veterans

John Dimsdale Nov 10, 2009
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Bill Radke: Tomorrow is Veterans Day. And tonight, like every night, an estimated 130,000 vets won’t have a place to live. About a third of all homeless men once served in the military. In Washington today, a Senate housing subcommittee will focus on ways to help. Marketplace’s John Dimsdale reports.


John Dimsdale: The number of homeless veterans has been coming down over the past five years. But the Veterans Affairs Department is worried the improvements will vanish in an economy with double-digit unemployment, and with more soldiers returning from war. Next year, the VA will spend over $3 billion on programs to reduce homelessness, including mental health treatments, college-degree programs, more subsidized housing and small-business loans for veteran-owned enterprises.

JOHN ROWAN: Unfortunately when we came around in the Vietnam era, we didn’t have any of that.

John Rowan is president of the Vietnam Veterans of America. He’s optimistic the VA can reach its goal of ending veterans’ homelessness in five years.

ROWAN: If they do the right thing by the newer veterans, dealing with their post-traumatic stress disorder, they can get them in good enough shape to take care of themselves.

Yesterday the White House announced a government-wide effort to help vets identify job opportunities and reintegrate into civilian society.

In Washington I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

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