Survey of homeless veterans shows slightly fewer living on the streets than a year ago

RIVERSIDE – A survey of homeless veterans in Riverside County in January found a four percent reduction among those living on the streets or in encampments, compared to a survey of the county’s entire homeless population one year ago.

The overall number of homeless veterans, however, rose from 285 in January 2013 to 290 in January 2014. The one percent increase is due largely to the number of veterans living in emergency or transitional shelters. 

The Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to conduct a biennial count of homeless people living on streets, in abandoned buildings, at freeway overpasses and underpasses, in vehicles, encampments and other areas.

The survey of homeless veterans was done as part of the VALOR Task Force (Veterans Assistance Leadership of Riverside County), created by the county’s Board of Supervisors in May 2013 to honor, support and assist veterans with quality-of-life issues such as homelessness, healthcare, education and job

training. 

A housing sub-committee of the VALOR Task Force was created with the short-term goal of finding permanent housing for 285 homeless veterans, the number identified in the 2013 point-in-time count. To date, the housing sub-committee has permanently housed more than 400 homeless veterans. 

The full report is available at www.dpss.co.riverside.ca.us.

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