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Before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Regarding  Ending Homelessness for our Nation’s Veterans

April 9, 2008

Mr. Chairman, and members of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, my name is Sandra A. Miller. I served as a senior enlisted woman in the U.S. Navy from 1975 until 1981 and I currently chair Vietnam Veterans of America’s (VVA) Homeless Veterans Committee.  Perhaps more importantly, I work with homeless veterans as the daily Program Coordinator of a transitional residence, one of the many programs provided by The Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service & Education Center.  Our transitional residence receives funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs Homeless Grant and Per Diem Program (HGPD) and operates under a shared lease agreement on the grounds of the Coatesville VA Medical Center.  

On behalf of VVA, I thank you and your colleagues for this opportunity to submit testimony sharing our views on the status of homeless assistance programs for veterans conducted by the VA.

Homelessness continues to be a significant problem for veterans. The VA estimates about one-third of the adult homeless population have served their country in the Armed Services. Current population estimates suggest that about 154,000 veterans (male and female) are homeless on any given night and perhaps twice as many experience homelessness at some point during the course of a year.

Federal efforts regarding homeless veterans must be particularly vigorous for women veterans with minor children in their care. And those federal agencies that have responsibilities in addressing this situation, particularly the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Labor, and Housing and Urban Development, must work in concert and should be held accountable for achieving clearly defined results.

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